From may through July, people get tick bites and tickborne diseases more often than any other time of the year in the US, but many may not know they are at risk. Not all show signs of the diseases. Each year, nearly 30,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC, but a recent survey reported that nearly 20 percent of people in areas where Lyme disease is common were unaware that it was a rick. Another 42 percent of individuals reported taking no personal preventive measures against ticks.
Other key tickborne diseases include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and babesiosis. These diseases tend to concentrated in specific parts of the country. Nearly 95 percent of Lyme disease cases occur in 12 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. With 60 percent of Ricky Mountain fever cases occur in 5 states: Arkansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee.
Reducing exposure to ticks is the best defense against Lyme disease.
1. Avoid areas with high grass and leaf litter and walk in the center of the hiking trails
2. Use a natural repellent (Terra Shield) from essential oils and plants – do not use Deet it is toxic to your body and more so to children
3. Use it everywhere to include your clothing and tuck in your shirts and pants
4. Treat your pets for ticks using the same natural repellent and they may bring ticks into the house
5. Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors to wash off and more easily find crawling ticks before they bite you
6. Conduct a fully body tick check using a hand held or full length mirror to view all parts of the body and remove any ticks right away
Tickborne diseases can cause mild symptoms to severe infections requiring hospitalization. The most common symptoms of tick related illnesses can include fever/chills, aches and pains, and rash. If you experience these symptoms after you have been outdoors look for the culprit or for the bull eye’s ring bite. See a doctor to get tested and treat accordingly.