Indiana Health Department provides tips for protecting against t - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Indiana Health Department provides tips for protecting against ticks

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Warm weather means tick season. The State Health Department is warning Hoosiers to be cautious when spending time outdoors this summer, particularly in vegetated areas or woods. Ticks can carry a number of different diseases, including Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is a bacteria transmitted through tick bites. According to the CDC, symptoms include fever, fatigue and headache. Over one hundred cases of Lyme disease were reported last year in Indiana, two cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and 22 cases of Ehrlichiosis.

“When the weather stays warm, as it is in the summer, ticks are more active,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “It’s important to know that ticks are carriers of a number of diseases and that all ticks should be considered infectious and capable of transmitting diseases.”

The State Health Department recommends wearing long-sleeved shirts and light-colored pants with the shirt tucked in. Insect repellent that contains DEET or picaridin can be sprayed onto skin or clothing. Products containing permethrin can be used on clothing but not on bare skin to protect against ticks over extended periods of time.

“Ticks can be safely removed even if they are attached to your skin,” Dr. VanNess added. “Ticks can be removed with either tweezers or forceps by grasping the tick as close to the skin as possible and then pull upward with steady and even pressure without squeezing the tick. It’s not a good idea to remove ticks with fingers, but if tweezers or forceps are not available, you can use tissue paper or a paper towel to prevent the passing of any possible infection.”

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