Tick, tick, tick… No, we’re not talking about that old clock hanging on your living room wall. We’re talking about an increased tick population! Due to recent warmer winters, scientists are warning people to be on the lookout for tick bites. They’re paying particular attention because a rare tick-borne disease called Powassan (POW for short) is spreading throughout the Northeast. Fortunately, the pros at Clark Exterminating know just how to keep you in the clear.
Dr. Daniel Pastula, an assistant professor of neurology, medicine (infectious diseases), and epidemiology at the University of Colorado Denver and Colorado School of Public Health told CNN the best thing people can do to avoid Powassan and other tick-borne diseases is to avoid tick bites as best they can. Preventing tick bites can include a number of tactics, including avoiding high bushy areas when in the wilderness, wearing long sleeves and pants when possible, using insect repellant, and doing a quick tick check after spending time in the great outdoors.
Powassan was first discovered in Ontario in 1958, and only a few cases were detected each year until the early 2000s. The past two winters have been notably warmer, which had led to fewer ticks dying during the cold months and therefore an increased population. Because of the increased tick population, experts predict an increase in tick-borne diseases. The deer tick is the main culprit spreading Powassan, which is also the same tick species that spread Lyme Disease. Scientists also believe there’s a rise of Powassan in humans because of increasing infections in deer. There are not currently any vaccines or cures for the disease.
A few notable numbers to remember:
15% of people who are infected and have symptoms are not going to survive
Of those who do survive, 50% will have long-term neurological damage
Most infected people won’t show symptoms, but those who do will experience flu-like symptoms within a few days
You’ll have a headache, fever, achy body, and may develop a rash on your skin. You may also have issues maintaining your cognition and consciousness. If you develop any of these symptoms and know or think you know you’ve been bitten by a tick, go to the hospital immediately.
Remember: avoid high bushy areas when in nature, wear pants and long sleeves, and always do a tick check when you come inside. If you experience any flu-like symptoms days after a tick bite, immediately seek medical assistance. To help keep these pesky bugs off your property, call your friends at Clark Exterminating. We know just what to do to keep these pests at bay, which will help you steer clear of this climbing number of Powassan infections.
Don’t forget: we offer FREE in-home estimates, so call us today to set up an appointment, the bug stops here!
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