Tick ​​bites on the go: How to stay safe when walking outdoors

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Tick ​​bites are on the rise in the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the majority of cases typically occur in the warmer months. Among the most recent cases: a man in Maine who died of a rare virus spread by the bite of infected ticks, the state CDC reported in April 2022.

Tick ​​bites can lead to many dangerous diseases in humans, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and others. And while tick bites are typically a concern for hikers or those who spend time in wooded areas, certain species can be found in grassy areas or gardens. Pets staying outdoors also run the risk of picking them up.

Most bites are usually reported in children aged 0-9.

There are several preventative measures proposed by the CDC that can help keep ticks away, such as applying pesticides in the yard, removing leaf litter, clearing tall grass and brush, placing a 3-foot barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas. , mowing the lawn often, discouraging unwelcome animals from entering the yard and removing old furniture, mattresses or debris from the yard.

Tick ​​bite lands a boy in the intensive care unit with ROCKY MOUNTAIN PLETTED FEVER DIAGNOSIS, SAYS MOTHER

Knowing where to expect ticks can also help, as can treating clothing and equipment with products that contain 0.5% permethrin. EPA-registered insecticides can also help keep you protected, as well as avoiding wooded or brushed areas with tall grass and leaf litter. Walking in the middle of trails while in wooded or tall grasslands can also help reduce your risk.

Once inside, check the clothes for ticks that are found quickly, the CDC advises. Dry the clothes on high heat for 10 minutes to kill anything you may have missed. Showering within two hours of getting indoors can also help wash off all unbound ticks and is a good chance to do a tick check. It is especially important to check under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the navel, the back of the knees, in and around the hair between the legs and around the waist.

If you find a tick, do not panic. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the surface of the skin as possible, pull upwards with an even pressure and do not twist or jerk the tick. If you are unable to remove the tick’s mouth, leave it alone in peace and let the skin heal. Wash the bite area thoroughly and your hands with alcohol, soap and water.

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Once removed, do not pinch the raft with your fingers, the CDC warned. Dispose of it by putting it in alcohol, putting it in a sealed bag, wrapping it tightly in tape or flushing it down the toilet. If a rash or fever occurs within several weeks after removal of the tick, seek medical attention and mention the bite.

Dogs are also susceptible to tick bites and they can be difficult to detect. Checking for ticks daily, especially after time outdoors can help, the CDC advises.

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