With the onset of summer, experts are warning of the increased risk of tick-borne illnesses, which can cause serious health problems if left untreated. According to a report in the Daily Sabah, warmer temperatures and higher humidity are creating ideal conditions for ticks to thrive, leaving people vulnerable to diseases such as Lyme disease, Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE), and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
What Is Tick-Borne Illness?
Tick-borne illnesses are infections caused by bacteria or viruses transmitted through the bite of ticks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ticks are most active between the months of April and September, which also happens to be the peak of the summer season.
The Increase In Tick-Borne Illnesses
Experts warn that the number of tick-borne illnesses is on the rise, with Lyme disease being the most common. Cases of Lyme disease have tripled over the past two decades, with an estimated 300,000 reported cases each year. However, this number is likely much higher as many cases go unreported. The same trend is being seen with other tick-borne illnesses, such as TBE and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Preventing Tick-Borne Illness
While it’s not always possible to avoid tick bites entirely, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of tick-borne illness. These include:
– Wear long sleeves and pants when you’re out in nature.
– Use insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin.
– Check your body for ticks after spending time outdoors.
– Remove any ticks with tweezers or a tick removal tool, being careful not to squeeze or crush the tick.
Treating Tick-Borne Illness
If you develop symptoms of tick-borne illness, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Symptoms can include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and a rash. Early treatment is key to preventing complications, such as the development of chronic Lyme disease.
Tick-borne illness is a growing public health concern, with warmer temperatures and higher humidity creating ideal conditions for ticks to thrive. By taking steps to prevent tick bites and seeking medical attention promptly if symptoms develop, you can reduce your risk of serious health problems caused by tick-borne illnesses. Remember to wear protective clothing, use insect repellent, and check your body for ticks after spending time outdoors.
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