By Vicki Kuhns, BS, CHW
Population Health Coordinator
It’s finally summer. The warm weather makes it the perfect time to get outdoors. However, if you are going into the woods, tall grass or brush, there are some precautions you should take to protect yourself from being bitten by a tick.
Being bitten by a tick can cause disease associated with long-term health problems. To lower your risk of being bitten, use bug spray that contains DEET. You should also wear socks, long pants and shirts with long sleeves. While hiking on a trail, aim to stay in the center of the trail where ticks are less likely to live.
After you return from you day outdoors, be sure to inspect your body for ticks. If you find a tick attached to your body, remove it with tweezers as soon as you can.
After being bitten by a tick, watch for any signs of illness. If you get a rash where the tick was, or if several days later you get a fever, fatigue or muscle/joint aches, contact your medical office to schedule an appointment. Early treatment with medication can reduce serious complications from Lyme disease and other problems that can be caused by a tick bite.