CONNECTICUT, USA — The summer hasn't even started, but already, it's been a busy tick season.
“I think that's to some degree to be expected based on the weather patterns,” said Dr. Patrick Cahill, Infectious Disease Specialist Hartford HealthCare.
The warmer, wetter weather we've seen means lots of active critters. Dr. Cahill says Connecticut is most focused on the deer tick, which carries Lyme disease. But in recent years, the Lone Star tick and the Asian Longhorned tick have been spotted as well, and both can transmit diseases.
“Protect oneself by frequent tick checks. A great thing to do when somebody comes in from being outdoors and an environment which may or may not be highly likely to acquire ticks, even somebody's backyard, gardening, they can pick them up, as I've done quite a few times this year already. But it's a good idea to throw their clothes in the dryer to basically kill any of the ticks that have been picked up,” said Dr. Cahill.
He suggests applying tick repellant products when you go out, either on your skin or on your clothes. Also, make sure your children and pets are protected, too, as they spend more time outside in the nicer weather
“Certainly if your kids have been outside, look them over before bed at least, if you can't do it right when they come inside, especially around the hairlines,” said Dr. Cahill.
Dr. Cahill also says to watch out for symptoms of Lyme Disease like the bulls-eye rash, fever, fatigue, and joint pain. If you have any symptoms, see your doctor.
“There will be more and more tick-borne diseases. We've seen a trend really nationwide, but especially in the region, over the last decade an increase in the likelihood of the ticks that you're carrying to be infected with Lyme Disease or some of the less common pathogens as well,” said Dr. Cahill.
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