May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month
As the weather warms, ticks get more active. This year's warm weather means the ticks are at full force already. Ticks are potential carriers of the pathogens causing Lyme disease, human anaplasmosis, and babesiosis.
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Lyme disease is the most common tickborne disease in Minnesota, but preventable by making sure ticks don’t bite you.
To prevent tick bites:
✔️ Walk in the center of trails to avoid picking up ticks from grass and brush.
✔️ Wear light-colored clothing so ticks will be more visible.
✔️ Create a barrier between ticks and your skin by tucking pants into socks or boots.
✔️ Use an EPA-registered repellant, and carefully follow the directions on the container.
✔️ After being outdoors, change your clothes, do a complete body check, shower, and dry your clothes for 10 minutes on high heat.
✔️ Check your pets and gear for ticks.
✔️ Watch for symptoms like a rash, fever, and flu-like aches for 30 days after being outdoors. See your doctor if you have these symptoms and tell them you've possibly (or definitely) had a tick bite.
To remove a biting tick:
✔️ DO remove it as soon as you can. The risk of getting a tick-borne illness is smaller if the tick is removed quickly.
✔️ DO use tweezers or a tick tool to grab the tick's head as close to the skin as possible.
✔️ DO pull the tick straight out.
✔️ Do NOT use fire, alcohol gel, bug spray, or a hot stick to burn or suffocate the tick- this causes them to vomit as they die, which increases your disease risk exponentially.
For more info: health.state.mn.us/ticks