It’s the time of year when you can pick up an unwanted guest while enjoying the outdoors, as ticks are coming out into the warmer weather. Michael Loeffelholz is the Chief of Virology for the State Hygenic Lab. Loeffelholz says Lyme disease is the top disease carried by ticks in Iowa. But, he says your chances of contracting the disease are slim, especially if the tick is removed right away. He says tests show only 8 to 10 percent of the ticks tested carry the lyme disease baterium.He says it’s a good bet the tick you find won’t have any disease. He says the odds are near the same as a shark attack or lightening strike that the tick that bites you will have the disease.If you do find a tick, Loeffelholz says you shouldnot try and remove it by burning the tick with a hot match. He says that old trick will only kill part of the tick and leave the head inmbeded in your skin.You should use tweezers or your fingers and apply slow, but steady pressure to the tick and it will eventually come out. If you are bitten by a tick, Loeffelholz says you should watch the bite. If the bite area turns red and expands over time, then you should see your doctor. Loeffelholz says repellants don’t work very well against ticks. He says the best way to avoid ticks is to keep all of your skin covered, so the ticks don’t have a place to attach.
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