Ticks are also more likely to be in close contact with humans due to increased land development. “As land is developed and wild tick habitat disappears, the ticks are living in closer proximity to humans and other hosts, thus leading to an increased chance of encountering a tick,” Dr. Troyano says.
The pandemic seems also to have inspired a renewed passion for outdoor activities that could bring more people closer to ticks. Thomas Russo, MDProfessor and chief of infectious disease at The University at Buffalo in New York, tells SELF. “In the age of COVID-19, people realize that outdoor activities are safer than indoors,” he says. “A lot of outdoor venues such as national parks have had a boom in visitors. It’s only natural that more tick-borne illnesses will spread,” Dr. Russo says.
Which diseases are most prevalent?
This is dependent on where you live as certain ticks can cause certain illnesses. (The map below shows the most common ticks found in your area. CDC website.) Despite the recent concerns about Powassan, heart disease, and alpha -gal syndrome, there’s no reason to obsess right now. Amesh A. Adalja, MD,A senior scholar at The Johns Hopkins Center for Health SecuritySELF was told by a friend. Lyme disease is spread by ticks from deer. It remains the most common tick-borne illness in the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
How can I protect myself against ticks
You may not be able to avoid ticks entirely, depending on where you live and how often you’re outdoors. You can make yourself less attractive for ticks by learning how to spot them. CDC:
- Find out where ticks thriveTicks often hide in grassy or brushy areas. This can include your backyard, parks, or gardens. It’s important to take the following precautions against ticks while walking your dog or doing yard work.
- Be extra vigilant during warmer weatherTick season is dependent on where you live. Glen RamseyAttn: Senior technical services manager Orkin, told SELF. “Some ticks, like the black-legged tick, which is more common in the northeast and midwest, have a different cycle than ticks in the Southeast,” he says. “But generally, you have to be careful in the spring and summer months.” However, tick season is getting longer thanks to warmer climates, so you may want to slather on insect repellant into the fall (or Anytime.)
- Tick-proof your gear:You should look for insect repellents that are specifically made for clothing and contain 0.5% permethrin (an insecticide). These can be used on clothes, boots, and camping gear to repel ticks.
- Use the right bug-repellantYou can search for the EPADatabase to find the right product for you. To repel ticks, the CDC recommends products that contain picaridin (DEET), picaridin (IR3535), Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus Oil (OLE), paramenthane-diol(PMD), and 2-undecanone.
- Check your clothes when you return home.Ticks can latch onto clothes and backpacks. Take care to inspect your items once you return home. To ensure your safety, dry your clothes at high heat for no less than 10 minutes. Drying wet clothes takes longer. Or you can wash your clothes immediately using hot water since cold and warm water won’t kill ticks. To keep ticks away, you can place your clothes in a plastic bag until you have access to a dryer and washer.
- Ticks can be found in petsTicks can travel home with your dogs. Make sure you thoroughly inspect your pet. Run your hands through your pet’s fur to check for small bumps, which may be a tick. According to the CDC, it’s important to inspect the following areas: around the ears, near the eyes, under the collar, between the back legs, under the front legs, between the toes, and near the tail.
- Shower ASAP It’s best to shower within two hours of coming indoors. This can help you wash off any ticks that haven’t attached themselves to you, and to do a tick check.
- Do a full-body check:If you have one, use it to see areas that are usually out of your field of view. During your check, make sure to inspect the following areas: under your arms and around and in between your ears, behind your knees and around and around your hairline.
What should you do if you get bitten by a tick
If you find a tick on the skin, be calm and get some tweezers. The CDCThese instructions will help you safely remove the tick. You should continue to monitor your body for signs of tick-borne diseases for at least 30 days after the tick has been removed. Many tick-borne diseases and illnesses can present with similar symptoms.
- A rash that goes beyond the bite
- Fever and chills
- Muscle pains and joint swelling
So, how long until you’re in the clear after you’ve been bitten by a tick? It’s hard to give specifics, Dr. Russo says. “Usually it’s within a week, but the incubation for Lyme disease could be for up to a month,” he says.
If you develop symptoms, Dr. Russo recommends contacting your doctor right away. Lyme disease can progress over time and cause heart palpitations, severe joint and muscle pain, and dizziness. Lyme disease can be treated early with oral antibiotics. This will minimize future flare-ups. CDC.
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