27 July, 2017
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ticks are prevalent not only throughout the United States, but all over the world. Reducing exposure year-round, especially during peak season, can reduce the risk of contracting an infection from the blood-feeding parasites.
During their lifetime, ticks will go through four stages, from egg to adult. Each stage requires an increasingly larger blood host to ensure survival. Humans are at most risk during spring and summer months, typically April through September.
Ticks can be found predominantly in wooded or brushy areas and in tall vegetation. To minimize tick exposure, wear protective clothing in a light color along with a chemical repellent. Also, tuck pant legs into socks, and stay near the center of walking trails. The National Institutes of Health says to perform a skin check after being outside in natural settings.
Ticks can cause Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and a host of other illnesses. The most common symptoms of tick-borne illnesses are fever and chills, aches and pains, rashes and neurological reactions. Should a tick bite occur, remove the tick and disinfect the bite area. If symptoms persist, seek medical attention.
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