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Don’t Get Ticked Off, Get Informed

June 4th, 2015

Don’t Get Ticked Off, Get Informed

Tick season is here, and the range of the variety that carries Lyme disease is a bit bigger than last year.  Besides being disgusting blood-suckers, the deer tick often carries Lyme disease, and is not hesitant to infect humans.

You can protect yourself from ticks by understanding their territory, habits, and the steps to take if you find one on your person.  A couple of important tick facts:  the only tick known to transport Lyme disease is the deer tick, and 50 to 60% of these carry the disease.

In a recent accounting by Lake Erie College, director of microbiology and immunology at the Osteopathic School of Medicine Christopher Keller noted that deer ticks’ local territory has expanded.  Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts in most areas of the country should be aware of ticks, however, and know how to make a post-trip self-inspection.

Deer ticks are small, about the size of a sesame seed.  By stripping down, you can quickly do a visual scan.  The tick does not begin feeding for about 24 hours, so they are easily removed early on.  If full of blood, they should be carefully removed with tweezers and taken to a medical facility for testing.  Infection from a Lyme carrying tick means a round of antibiotics, but the disease is much easier to treat in early stages, so get checked!

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