How To Avoid Ticks — And What To Do If You Get Bitten : Shots – Health News – NPR

The black-legged or deer tick, which carries Lyme illness, appears to be expanding its area.

Expense Davis/Newsday by means of Getty Images

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Bill Davis/Newsday via Getty Images

The black-legged or deer tick, which brings Lyme disease, appears to be expanding its territory.

Expense Davis/Newsday by means of Getty Images

Ticks arent known as beach-lovers, so ecologist Dan Salkeld and a coworker were shocked when they found 180 ticks in less than a mile on a coastal path near Muir Beach in California one day in 2016. “Contrary to most individuals, we were thrilled at the high numbers of ticks! For years, people who track black-legged ticks– the kind that bring Lyme illness– have been discovering them in additional flung area, though still in mainly conventional habitats of forested locations with tall yards and leaf litter.

Minnesota Department of Health workers demo a clever hack for keeping animals off while out in the field: Wrap duct tape around socks and pant legs to avoid ticks from crawling in.

And, more of them seem carrying pathogens. Pritts laboratory tests tens of thousands of ticks; over the last 3 years, theyve found that a growing number of the ticks carry the germs that triggers anaplasmosis, a disease that can cause headache, fever and chills and severe illness if treatment is delayed. It all adds up to more disease: tick-borne diseases are at an all-time high, with about 50,000 cases reported each year– and even more going unreported.

Sheila Eldred for NPR

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Sheila Eldred for NPR

Minnesota Department of Health workers demo a clever hack for keeping animals off while out in the field: Wrap duct tape around socks and pant legs to avoid ticks from crawling in.

Sheila Eldred for NPR

While Lyme disease is by far the most prevalent, accounting for almost 35,000 cases in 2019, ticks also carry pathogens that can make you allergic to red meat or cause intense breathing distress. In rare cases, tick-borne illness are fatal. Anaplasmosis is the second-most typical tick-borne disease, with nearly 8,000 cases reported in 2019. Heres what you need to understand about what type of ticks to look out for, where– and what to do if you get bitten. Inspect your regional tick projection Your individual illness danger is extremely depending on your place. Tick occurrence depend upon a variety of regional factors that make sweeping generalizations difficult, says Dr. George Dempsey of East Hampton Family Medicine and Bay Area Lyme Foundations National Lyme Biobank. Thats why hes skeptical when he hears predictions for upcoming tick seasons.

Currently, a mild winter season plus a hot, damp summer season in the Midwest is bringing out ticks earlier than usual. In East Hampton, New York, Dempsey is seeing more Lone Star ticks, a relative newcomer to the location, and fewer black-legged ticks– resulting in less Lyme disease. “Our prediction would have been that they didnt have Lyme, however they were simply as high as ticks in woodland locations,” he says, leading him to pose the concern in his study: Should infection prevalence in ticks be reported at a hyper-local level– possibly even for a single trail?

6 typical kinds of adult female ticks. Top row, left to right: Lone star, Black-legged, Asian long-horned. Bottom row, left to right: Gulf coast, American dog, Rocky mountain wood

The black-legged tick, typically referred to as a deer tick, can carry Lyme disease, babesiosis, powassan, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis infection. Its discovered in the eastern half of the U.S. Black-legged ticks near the Pacific Coast are a cousin of this tick, known as the Western black-legged tick. The American pet tick, also known as a wood tick, can bring Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, one of the deadliest tick-borne illness, and tularemia.

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( Top row, left to right) Public Health Image Library, Wikimedia Commons, James Gathany/CDC (Bottom row, left to right) Public Health Image Library, Patrick Gorring/iNaturalist, Public Health Image Library

Six typical types of adult female ticks. Leading row, left to right: Lone star, Black-legged, Asian long-horned. Bottom row, left to right: Gulf coast, American canine, Rocky mountain wood

Pritts lab tests tens of thousands of ticks; over the last three years, theyve discovered that more and more of the ticks carry the bacteria that causes anaplasmosis, an illness that can cause headache, fever and chills and serious illness if treatment is postponed. In East Hampton, New York, Dempsey is seeing more Lone Star ticks, a relative newbie to the area, and fewer black-legged ticks– resulting in less Lyme disease. The black-legged tick, typically referred to as a deer tick, can bring Lyme illness, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, powassan and anaplasmosis infection. Its discovered in the eastern half of the U.S. Black-legged ticks near the Pacific Coast are a cousin of this tick, known as the Western black-legged tick. The American pet tick, also known as a wood tick, can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, one of the most dangerous tick-borne illness, and tularemia.

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( Top row, delegated right) Public Health Image Library, Wikimedia Commons, James Gathany/CDC (Bottom row, delegated right) Public Health Image Library, Patrick Gorring/iNaturalist, Public Health Image Library

( Top row, delegated right) Public Health Image Library, Wikimedia Commons, James Gathany/CDC (Bottom row, delegated right) Public Health Image Library, Patrick Gorring/iNaturalist, Public Health Image Library