Preventing Tick-borne Illness
As the warmer months approach, prevention and control of tickborne illnesses become important. The most common tick-borne illnesses occurring in Missouri are Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, Ehrlichiosis and Borelliosis (Lyme’s disease). Prevention consists of keeping lawns cut close, wearing clothing that prevents ticks from getting on your skin and wearing proper tick repellant. Avoiding areas where grass and vegetation are overgrown and wooded areas can also limit exposure to ticks. Tick repellants with DEET are most effective but should be used with caution on children. If you do have a tick attachment, disinfect the area and remove the tick with tweezers between the head and mouth parts. Pull upward to avoid leaving mouth parts in the skin which could lead to infection. Disinfect the area again after removal. If you develop a rash, fever or become ill following a tick bite, see your healthcare provider right away to be evaluated for tick-borne illness.