Virginia is lousy with ticks

With summer around the corner the days are getting warmer and more shorts, tank tops and flip flops are appearing. But with those more skin exposed clothing choices come some fairly serious risks. Virginia is seeing a growing number of tick infections in the past twelve months, including the types of ticks that carry Lyme disease.

Virginia had over sixteen thousand tick related disease case reported to the CDC from 2004 to 20016.

Unlike mosquitos, ticks attach to the skin and burrow in, but their presence does not itch like mosquito bites so you may not notice. The longer the tick stays sucking your blood the more chances it has to deliver disease causing bacteria to your blood stream. It is very important that after any outdoor adventure in a wooded or high grass area you check yourself all over for ticks. Check especially in places where sweat collects like the neck, behind the ears, the creases of the legs and arms, the underarms and so forth.

On thing you will notice is a the circular rash of the tick bite. If you get that rash it’s from bacterial transmission and you’ll need to come into Women First and get looked at right away.

Lyme disease is carried by the female deer tick. Symptoms begin anywhere from 2 to 3 days after bacteria infection. You’ll maybe feel tired, have a fever, perhaps headaches and maybe even achy with joint pain or bone pain. Lyme disease is serious, even deadly, so don’t wait to make an appointment with Women First if you notice any of these symptoms. These are the stage one symptoms. The stage two symptoms are much more severe.

Tick-borne illnesses are increasing, and Virginia’s been hard-hit by the number of tick infections; which, if left untreated, can be serious. And even if treated, can have a serious impact on your pregnancy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there were more than 16,000 tick-borne disease cases between 2004 and 2016 in Virginia alone.

Ticks are sneaky, tiny vampire-like pests that can attach to you and you won’t even feel it. It can remain in your skin, feeding on your blood.

Of course, we all know that. But getting a tick bite is no small matter, as they can carry Lyme disease: which, if not treated, can cause some big health problems. Medical experts say if you develop a rash after a bite, see a doctor.

The only kind of tick that can transmit Lyme disease is a female deer tick, because they can carry a type of bacteria that causes the disease. Audrey Burnett, an associate professor for health sciences at James Madison University, said it only takes 48 to 72 hours after a tick bite for the bacteria to get into the blood stream, potentially resulting in Lyme disease.

If you do check yourself for ticks and you find one, remove it with tweezers. Don’t use heat to kill it because before it actually dies it my burrow further into your skin. Treat the tick bite place on your skin with anti-bacterial gel.

To avoid ticks wear long sleeves and long pants that have elasticized cuffs when you go hiking or playing in wooded areas or in tall grass. And where socks even if you are wearing sandals.

Stay safe and tick free this summer.