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Wake County News > Posts > ​Prevent Diseases Transmitted by Ticks
June 21
​Prevent Diseases Transmitted by Ticks

Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, but danger can be lurking in your favorite gardening, camping or hiking spot. Ticks are most active in the warmer months. You can protect yourself from illness by adding tick bite prevention to your summer plans.

“Ticks aren’t just annoying, they can carry disease,” said Wake County Health Educator Carla Piedrahita. “These diseases can become severe and cause long-term health problems if not treated early.”

Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease are just two of the many diseases ticks carry in Wake County. Residents can reduce their chances of getting tick-borne diseases by:

  • Knowing where to expect ticks. Ticks live in moist and humid environments across the U.S., particularly in or near wooded or areas with tall grasses. Walk in the center of trails to avoid ticks.
  • Using repellents containing 20 percent or more DEET, which can protect you from ticks for up to several hours. Permethrin can be used to treat clothing and gear. Pets need repellents, too, so they won’t bring ticks home. Talk to your vet.
  • Checking your clothing for ticks. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after coming indoors. Damp clothes may need more time. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended.
  • Showering after being outdoors to wash off unattached ticks and repellents.
  • Checking yourself and your pets for ticks. If you find a tick, remove it as soon as you notice it by grasping with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and pulling it straight out.
  • Mark the date on your calendar. Watch for flu-like symptoms over the next 30 days.

Common symptoms include fever, rash, or aches and pains. Contact a health provider if you develop these symptoms.

To learn more about preventing tick-borne illnesses, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.


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