If you’ve spent time out in the woods this summer, or if you hope to hike or bike outside, you need to know about ticks. Ticks are not just icky; they can also carry dangerous diseases. In fact, tick-borne diseases are increasing as ticks increase their range.
Not all tick bites lead to infection, but numerous tick species can carry pathogens. The lone star ticks can carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever, while blacklegged ticks and western blacklegged ticks harbor Lyme disease. Diseases like anaplasmosis, babesiosis and ehrlichiosis may be less recognizable, but they can also cause health problems.
What to Do About Ticks:
Are there ways to minimize your chance of being bitten by a tick? (Clothing treated with permethrin, such as that from Insect Shield or BugsAway is very helpful. We especially like the gaiters.)
What should you do if you find a tick has latched on? Find out how to remove a tick properly and how to recognize the symptoms of tick-borne diseases. Which treatments are effective?
We’ll also discuss diseases that may be transmitted by mosquitoes, biting flies and fleas. What can you do to protect yourself?
Dr. David Weber will answer your questions about infections transmitted by ticks and other biters. Join the conversation by calling 888-472-3366 on Saturday, July 14, 2018, from 7 to 8 am EDT or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Listeners had some suggestions for more information about ticks.
Books: Cure Unknown, by Pamela Weintraub
Coping with Lyme Disease, by Denise Lang
Eliza F. wrote:
“One resource I’ve found that other listeners might appreciate is TickEncounter.org, run by the University of Rhode Island. There’s lots of good information there, including a guide to identifying ticks. Also, at TickReport.com, you can find out how to send a tick that has bitten you to the U Mass Laboratory of Medical Zoology. They will do a DNA analysis to see if your tick was carrying any diseases. It costs $50 (or more, depending on how many diseases you test for).”
This Week’s Guest:
David Weber, MD, MPH, is Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the UNC School of Medicine. Dr. Weber is also Professor of Epidemiology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health and Medical Director of UNC Hospitals’ Departments of Hospital Epidemiology and Occupational Health Service. In addition, he is Associate Chief Medical Officer at UNC Health Care. UNC is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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