Be careful out there!
North Carolina often leads the nation in Rocky Mountain spotted fever cases, with 674 reported in 2017 — a 5 percent increase over 2016, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
But bites from ticks in North Carolina can also lead to ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease and STARI, which stands for Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness. Lyme disease reports also ramped up to 363 in 2017, rising 10 percent, DHHS reports.
Avoid tick bites-
For people interested in enjoying life, staying indoors, forgoing pets and wearing long pants isn’t practical. So the best prevention is:
▪ Using repellants, which should include an EPA registration number on the label to prove it has been tested.
▪ Performing a thorough tick check, especially these tender spots: under the arms, in and behind the ears, in hair, in the bellybutton, between the legs and behind knees.
▪ Tumble-dry clothing for 10 minutes.
Source: CDC, TIC-NC
If you’re bitten by a tick-
The only way to remove a tick involves squeezing its head with a pair of tweezers, getting as close to the skin as possible. Pull the head slowly, flush the tick down the toilet, wash hands and disinfect the bite area.
In some cases, bites from the Lone Star tick have been connected to red-meat allergies, known as alpha-gal and still poorly understood. In 2013, a Chapel Hill woman’s 6-year-old son began vomiting froth after a Lone Star tick bite, one of many alpha-gal cases to surface in the state. Read more via newsobserver.com.