Tick-borne Diseases: Reduce Your Chances and What to do
I’m sure you have heard of those little insects that attach to your skin and suck your blood, I am talking about ticks. Many of you probably associate ticks with deer and the woods, and you may have even seen one on your dog or yourself from time to time. While outdoors you have a chance of coming into contact with ticks especially if you’re camping or hiking! Know where ticks come from! Animals such as deer carry ticks so if you’re in an area with deer around then buy tick repellant sprays for your body and medicine for your pets. They also live in moist and humid environments, mainly wooded areas. If you look around Gainesville you will notice forests, state parks, lakes, and springs. These are all places where people tend to camp and go hiking and are also popular places to find ticks.
What to do once you come inside:
- Check clothing for ticks! Any ticks that are found should be removed, and placing clothes in dryer on high heat for an hour can kill them.
- Shower soon after being outside! This can reduce your chances of getting Lyme disease; it also can wash off unattached ticks and is a good time to check your body for ticks.
- Check your body for ticks! Check all parts of your body, important areas to check are under the arms, in and around ears, inside belly button, back of knees, in and around hair, between legs, and around the waist.
If you do find a tick attached then remove it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has detailed information on how to remove ticks and much more information on preventing them. When removed watch the area for a sign of illness such as a rash, if you do become ill then contact your medical provider.
Diseases from ticks:
Humans can be infected from ticks through bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause serious illness! These include: