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From the Douglas County Health Dept.
In the United States, ticks are responsible for more human disease than any other insect. Tick-borne diseases are also known as zoonotic diseases. A zoonotic disease is an infectious disease that can be transmitted between animals and humans. Ticks are very effective transmitters of disease because most ticks take blood from a large variety of small and large mammals, reptiles and even birds. Ticks become infected with a disease-causing agent by feeding on infected mammals or birds. For example, a tick can pick up Lyme disease from a field mouse, and later in its life transmit bacteria to a deer, dog or human.
Don’t spoil your outside fun- take these simple precautions to keeps ticks off your body:
1) Avoid tick infested areas. Walk in the center of trails to avoid overhanging grass and brush.
2) Dress properly. Wear light-colored clothing and tuck pants into socks.
3) Apply insect repellent. Apply insect repellents containing 20-50% DEET as directed on the label. Spray repellents with permethrin on clothes only, not skin.
4) Do tick checks. Examine clothing and skin frequently for ticks. Examine pets for ticks.
5) Carefully remove attached ticks immediately.
Prompt removal of ticks can help prevent disease. Ticks can infect in ten hours or less. Take these steps to remove a tick:
1) Using tweezers, grasp tick near the mouthparts, as close to skin as possible.
2) Pull tick firmly, straight out, away from skin. Do not jerk or twist the tick.
3) Do not use alcohol, matches, or petroleum jelly to remove tick.
4) Wash your hands and the bite site with soap and water after the tick is removed. Apply an antiseptic to the bite site.
5) Tell your doctor you had a tick bite if you develop symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, or rash.
For more information visit the Department of Health and Senior Services at www.dhss.mo.gov/ TicksCarryDisease or contact the Douglas County Health Department at (417)683-4174.
Douglas County Health Department is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Services provided on a nondiscriminatory basis in cooperation with the Department of Health and Senior Services.