Summer is the season for camping, walks and bike rides in wooded areas, but this also means it's the season of ticks. From April to September is tick season, and this is when the insects are most prevalent looking for a blood host.
Not only are ticks a pain to try and remove if they get on your skin, but getting bit by one can cause serious illnesses like Lyme disease. Recently, another tick-related disease was discovered by Scott Folk, a doctor at Heartland Adult Infectious Diseases.
Last year, after seeing a few patients with symptoms he thought to be Ehrlichiosis (a disease caused by tick bites) Folk soon realized it was something he had never seen before. With the help of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Folk discovered a new disease caused by tick bites, later named the Heartland Virus.
So far there are two patients diagnosed with this virus and there is no treatment yet for this particular tick related disease. To help prevent your chances of becoming the host for a tick and avoid contracting any of these diseases, Folk outlined a few things we can do when venturing outdoors:
- Stay in the center of a trail when walking in the woods- ticks are usually found on the edge of a wooded area so staying where there is a path
- Tucks your pants into your shoes so your ankles are not exposed
- Wearing a repellent with 20-303 percent Deet
- The CDC has other helpful prevention tips