Protect Your Family and Pets This Season with a Tick Alert: Prevent Lyme Disease

As we enter the tick season, it is important to be aware of the potential health risks posed by these small creatures. Ticks are not just annoying pests; they can transmit Lyme disease, a condition that can be serious if not treated.

Although Lyme disease is rarely fatal, it can develop into a severe condition that causes inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. In some rare cases, it can also lead to heart complications.

Medical professionals assure that a full course of antibiotics should effectively clear the infection. However, the rarity of the disease does not diminish its severity, with only about five recorded deaths in the U.S.

Our pets are not immune to this threat either. Fortunately, there are several treatments available to reduce their risk of a tick bite.

These include tick-repellant collars and chewable tablets that introduce a ‘poison’ into the pet’s skin, killing ticks shortly after they bite. This substance is harmless to the animal but lethal to ticks, reducing the risk of disease transmission.

Vaccines against Lyme disease are also available for pets, further reducing their risk. While our pets have vaccines, scientists are still working on similar preventative measures for humans. These potential solutions are currently undergoing clinical trials.

Ticks are most active until the end of November, particularly in northern areas and wooded environments. High-risk activities during the fall include hunting and hiking, as ticks thrive in such surroundings.

Ticks often attach themselves to the crotch, thighs, or back, preferring sheltered crevices and places where clothing meets the body tightly.

To avoid tick bites, experts recommend avoiding woodland areas and wearing insect repellent. Pulling socks up over the bottom of your pants can also help, as it gives you extra time to spot a tick climbing up your body before it bites.

Long sleeves do not offer much protection, as ticks are small and can slip underneath them.

If you have been outdoors, it is important to perform a tick check on yourself, your kids, and your pets. This involves thoroughly searching the body to look for any ticks that may have bitten. If bitten, remove the tick carefully with tweezers, making sure no part of the tick is left in the body.

It is also advised to keep the tick in a sealed jar for testing if symptoms develop later.

Lyme disease is transmitted after a tick has been biting for around 24 hours, meaning those caught earlier pose little risk of transferring the disease. The disease, caused by bacteria, is marked by large bull’s-eye-like marks around the bite site.

It is treated with antibiotics and affects nearly 500,000 Americans every year.

This article appeared in FreshOffThePress and has been published here with permission.

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Written by Western Reader

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