Keep yourself from getting sick by ticks this summer

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 6:20 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - While warmer weather means more outdoor activities, it also invites ticks to get people sick and stick them back inside.

Green County Public Health is reminding the public to protect themselves from these insects. They are very common in Wisconsin and can spread diseases such as Lyme Disease, Powassan virus and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Lyme disease is the most common illness spread by ticks in Wisconsin. A lot of people who get sick from a tick bite might not even remember getting bit at all. The most common symptoms spread by ticks are fever, rash, headache, body aches and fatigue. Most diseases spread by ticks are treatable with antibiotics.

According to Green County Public Health, tick bites are preventable. They recommend these ways to protect yourself and others from tick bites:

BEFORE GOING OUTDOORS

  • Use an insect repellent with 20-30% DEET or another EPA-registered repellent according to the label instructions.
  • Use 0.5% permethrin products on clothing, socks and shoes according to label instructions.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants, and tuck pants into socks and shirts into pants to avoid ticks crawling under clothing.
  • Use a veterinarian-prescribed tick prevention treatment on pets.

WHILE OUTDOORS

  • Walk in the center of trails and do not brush up against plants on the edge of trails.
  • Avoid wooded and brushy areas with tall grass and leaves.

AFTER BEING OUTDOORS

  • Check all parts of the body carefully, especially the armpits, behind the knees, scalp, in and around the ears, inside the belly button and groin.
  • Parents should check their children for ticks.
  • Place clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill any ticks on clothing.

For more information on tick bite prevention, visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website.

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