Chesprocott Health District (CHD) wants to protect the community from tick-borne infections. Ticks are small, but they can cause big problems when it comes to your health.
“Tick-borne illnesses are on the rise and prevention should be on everyone’s mind, particularly during the warmer weather months when ticks are most active,” said Director of Health at Chesprocott Maura Esposito. “From April through July, people will get more tick bites and tickborne infections than any other time of year in the Connecticut. It is important to take preventive measures against ticks when outside and to be aware of the signs and symptoms of tick-borne infections.”
The most common tick-illnesses reported in Connecticut are Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis and Lyme disease. The blacklegged tick is responsible for these diseases, which are in found in every state across the eastern U.S. Ticks can be infected with bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Anaplasmosis and Lyme disease are transmitted to humans by tick bites primarily from the blacklegged tick. Babesiosis is also caused by a blacklegged tick, but also by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells in humans.
It can take a tick from two to 96 hours after attaching to the body to transmit the pathogens the human. Most people never see or find the tick on their body. Therefore, it is important to be alert to your health.
Common symptoms of tick-borne illnesses include:
•A flu like-feeling
Doctors can diagnosis these diseases through a blood test and through symptoms. Antibiotics, herbal supplements, and other pain management medication can treat tick-borne infections.
There are many ways to protect yourself and your loved ones (including pets) from ticks during this season. It is important to avoid tick-infested areas such as wooded and busy areas with high grass and leaf litter. Use a chemical repellent with DEET, permethrin or picaridin or purchase clothing with these chemical repellents in them.
Bathe or shower right after spending time outdoors. Conduct a full-body tick check using a mirror to see hard to reach places such as the under arms, belly button, behind the knees and on the scalp. Keep grass mowed and trees trimmed.
Lastly, a resident can submit a tick for testing at Chesprocott Health District. The tick must have been found on a human (not a pet), and the cost is $10. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station tests the tick(s) for evidence of infection Anaplasmosis, Babesia, and Lyme disease.
If you have any questions or for more information, visit www.chesprocott.org or www.cdc.gov.