It’s 4th of July weekend and a many of us will be celebrating Independence Day in the U.P.’s outdoors. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services wants people to know how to avoid tick bites when they work or play outside.
Kurt Galbreath, Associate Professor of Biology at Northern Michigan University, said that the boom we’re experiencing right now is from all the adults that were lying in wait and now, after the warm temperatures, they erupted in ways that allow many parasites to increase their population sizes at greater rates then they have historically.
Tick–borne diseases like Lyme disease and anaplasmosis are increasing across the state.
Ticks commonly live in leaf litter and in wooded or brushy areas.
Professor Galbreath stated that they do pose a threat to us when we do go out in the woods spending time in our wonderful U.P. playground we live in. However, they pose a risk not necessarily because they’re ticks but because of the pathogens they carry. But he did emphasize that not every single tick is a pathogen carrier so just because you get bit by a tick it doesn’t necessarily mean you contracted a pathogen.
Ticks are nature’s hitchhikers. And as Kurt Said, they travel to other habitats by hitching rides on other animals. Adding, they’re parasites looking for a blood meal.
M–D–H–H says signs and symptoms of tick–borne disease vary greatly and can typically begin up to two weeks after a tick bite.
Early treatment with appropriate antibiotics decreases the risk of complications.
For more information about protecting yourself and your family against tick–borne diseases visit: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/emergingdiseases/resize_307382_7.pdf