Health officials say its shaping up to be a good year for ticks — and a bad year for Iowans who get nibbled by them. Several cases of tick-related illnesses are already reported in the region this year. Veterinarian Dr. Annette Bradthauer, says besides being annoying pests, ticks also carry diseases.
Dr. Bradthauer says, "Ticks should be avoided because they are carriers of viral diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia." She says Iowans who are spending time outdoors, whether it’s camping, hiking or just mowing the lawn, need to take precautions to avoid tick bites.
Bradthauer says: "First of all, staying out of tick-infested areas. Secondly, wearing long pants and closed shoes. Also, using insect repellent." One of the most common tick-borne diseases is Lyme disease. Symptoms can include: a rash and flu-like symptoms like fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headache, fever, chills, swollen glands, sore throat and stiff neck.
Bradthauer says it’s a good idea to check yourself over carefully after being outside. She says, "Remember that some ticks are very, very small, about the side of a poppyseed. They should also check their pets to make sure the pets are not bringing ticks indoors." For more information, visit www.iowalymedisease.com .