Guard yourself against rising tick-borne illnessesAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tick-borne diseases are increasing day-by-day. Dr. Vandana Bhide said, “Lots of tick-borne illnesses in Florida because of our weather. It occurs year-round, so we need to be careful all the time.” Whenever you walk in the woods or in a tall grass you would definitely see a tick crawling on your body. The most common tick-borne disease is a Lyme disease which is very rare in the state of Florida and on rising in the states of Maine and New Hampshire. These two states have also developed diseases like anaplasmosis and babesiosis that are closely related to immune systems.

Dr. Bhide said you could prevent illnesses through ticks by immediately taking a shower as soon as you leave the heavily wooded area or place that has tall grass. She added, “Many times people are not aware that they are tick bitten, so it becomes kind of challenging. If you have a fever or you get a headache or else pain in your joints then those could all be a sign of a tick-borne illness.”

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by black-legged ticks. They have four life stages – eggs, larvae, nymphs and adults. The nymphs stage is mostly active during May to August and are likely to cause Lyme disease. These nymphs are very small in size. Hence, it is difficult to identify and remove them than the adult ticks.

Ticks usually get attach to the warmer parts of the body such as hair scalp, underarms, elbows, back of the knees, between two fingers etc. If you find a tick anywhere on the body you could remove it completely by grabbing it by the mouthparts at the surface of the skin. Don’t try to squeeze it or burn it as it may increase the chances of infection.

The symptoms of initial stage Lyme disease is rash, fever, chills, headache, muscle and joint aches while symptoms of the later stage are severe joint pain, joints and bones, dizziness, inflammation of brain and spinal cord.

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