While the COVID-19 pandemic restricts our contact with other people, and warmer weather arriving, people spend more time outdoors, risking tick bone diseases. However, each pleasure comes with risks, and ticks know nothing about social distancing. tick borne diseases are more prevalent during late spring, summer and fall. Nevertheless, they are active year-round, anywhere and any time, as long as the temperature does not drop to below freezing.
The Corona Virus pandemic is stealing the show, but people should not lose sight of tick-related risks. Don’t be mislead by their small size because a tick bite can cause severe health problems. Bites by deer ticks, also called blacklegged ticks, can cause various diseases like Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis.
Deer ticks Borrelia bacterium, which causes Lyme disease. A bull’s eye patterned rash usually develops around the bite mark. Flu-like symptoms, accompanied by limb weakness and joint pain are typical. Antibiotic treatment and pain relief treatment are often enough to treat the infection.
The Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacterium spreads this tick borne disease. The carriers are the same as those that cause Lyme disease, but this bacterium causes white blood cell infection. However, the number of hospitalizations for Anaplasmosis is 25%, compared to only 5% of people with Lyme disease.
Ideal conditions for spreading tick borne diseases
The National Pest Management Association says people are spending more time in their yards this year, sharing the outdoors with a variety of pests and insects. The warmer, wetter spring, following the cold, damp winter in many states caused an early spike in pest populations.
Precautions to prevent tick borne diseases
There is no vaccine to prevent tick borne diseases like Lyme and Anaplasmosis. Thus, taking the following precautions are crucial:
- Pets like dogs can also get Lyme disease, and they can carry ticks into the home. Keep them clean and use the available preventative measures like tick collars or Frontline.
- Check yourself, your clothes and your dogs for ticks after spending time outside.
- Take a shower after yard work and pay particular attention to hidden areas. Ticks like to crawl in behind the ears, the back of the neck in the hairline and skin folds.
- Those who live near woods should keep trails clear, and lawns mowed short. Clearing brush and leaves around the house can limit tick presence.
- Anaplasmosis infection happens much quicker. So remove ticks as soon as possible by using your fingers or tweezers.
- Pull it out slowly, rather than plucking it out, which could leave the tick’s mouthpieces behind.
- After removing the tick, use soap and water to wash the area,
- Any signs of fever, headaches, a rash or other flu-like symptoms after such a bite are red flags. A trip to the doctor would be wise.
If you take these precautions to avoid tick borne diseases you can enjoy the magnificence of nature safely.