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Time to Talk Ticks

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As the weather warms, Interior Health says its that time of year again to talk about the small bugs that feed on the blood of humans and animals and can sometimes transmit disease.

Medical Health Officer, Dr. Silvina Mema says ticks tend to be found in tall grass and wooded areas.

“So it is important for people who spend time outdoors to cover themselves and to avoid exposing skin. It is also important to wear light colored clothes and then you will be able to see the ticks that are very small but are dark.”

Dr. Mema says if you find a tick on yourself, a family member, or pet, to wear gloves and gently remove it. Use needle-nose tweezers to gently grasp the tick close to the skin and pull the tick straight out without squeezing. After removal, clean the area with soap and water.

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She says the most common tick in the region is the Wood Tick which although is not known to carry the Lyme disease bacteria can carry other diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Signs of many tick-borne infections can be quite similar and include fever, headache, muscle pain, and rash. Anyone who experiences a bulls-eye rash or other symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible. If you saved the tick, bring it with you to your medical appointment. Ticks that are still alive can be tested for Lyme disease.

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