Health authorities in the northeastern United States are warning that hotter winters have been contributing to a rising number of active deer ticks. With more days of milder weather, deer ticks can survive longer in their active stage, and that increase in active ticks are leading to a greater risk of exposure for humans and their pets.
Deer ticks can carry a variety of illnesses, including Lyme Disease, which is a serious bacterial infection that causes fatigue, joint pain, and other symptoms. While the disease can be treated with antibiotics, it often takes time to diagnose, which allows it to progress to more serious levels.
Health officials are urging everyone to take measures to protect themselves when outdoors, particularly during the warmer months. This includes wearing long sleeves and pants, and tucking pant hems into socks to avoid exposure to deer ticks. Spraying clothing with an insecticide can also keep deer ticks away.
It is also important to be vigilant when out in nature and do a full-body check after returning home. If a deer tick is discovered, it is important to remove it as quickly as possible, as they can transmit Lyme Disease within the first 24 to 48 hours they are attached. Using tweezers to pull the tick straight out is the best way to remove it.
For those who enjoy spending time outdoors in the northeastern United States, it is important to be mindful of the increased prevalence of deer ticks. Taking a few extra precautions can go a long way in keeping you safe and preventing illness.
NPR. “Health Authorities Say Hotter Northeast Winters Contribute To A Lot More Energetic Deer Ticks.” National Public Radio, 2020. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/10/06/926730476/health-authorities-say-hotter-northeast-winters-contribute-to-a-lot-more-energetic-deer-ticks [ad_1]
Warmer winters usually means “tick year” is now 12 months-round in the Northeast — with men and women enduring bites that can lead to a selection of diseases.
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