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Ticks: Danger Lurking

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

Ticks are small, blood-sucking arthropods that can be found in wooded, grassy, or brushy areas. They are a common concern for parents and pet owners, as they can transmit a variety of diseases to both children and pets. It is reported that Lyme disease cases are up 173% in which the CDC has reported Pennsylvania continues to have the highest number of cases in the United States.

One of the most well-known tick-borne illnesses is Lyme disease, which is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the United States. Symptoms of Lyme disease can include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic bull's-eye rash. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system, leading to serious complications.

Another tick-borne illness that can affect both children and pets is Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). This disease is caused by the bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii and can cause symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pain, and a rash. RMSF can be severe and even fatal if not treated promptly.

Ticks can also transmit other diseases, such as anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and babesiosis. These illnesses can cause a variety of symptoms, including fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. In some cases, they can lead to serious complications and even death.

To protect children and pets from tick-borne illnesses, it is important to take precautions when spending time in areas where ticks are prevalent. The CDC recommends the following steps to reduce the risk of tick bites:

  • Consider using insect repellent that contains DEET or other natural alternatives on exposed skin and clothing

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when spending time in wooded or grassy areas

  • Avoid tall grass and leaf litter

  • Use tick-control products on pets

  • Check yourself, your children, and your pets for ticks after spending time in tick-infested areas

If you find a tick on yourself, your child, or your pet, it is important to remove it as soon as possible. The CDC recommends using fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible and pull upward with steady, even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick, as this can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin.

Ticks are a serious concern for children and pets as they can transmit a variety of dangerous diseases. It is important to take precautions to reduce the risk of tick bites, such as using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing and checking for ticks regularly. If you find a tick, remove it immediately and seek medical attention if you or your pet develop symptoms of tick-borne illness. See below CDC graphic - green represents reported Lyme disease with the highest concentration in south-eastern Pennsylvania.

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1 komentarz

Oceniono na 0 z 5 gwiazdek.
Nie ma jeszcze ocen

17 lut 2023
Oceniono na 5 z 5 gwiazdek.

did not know SE PA was such a problem! Thanks for the great info

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