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Be Tick Smart!

Tickborne Diseases in Ohio

Diseases spread by ticks are an increasing concern in Ohio and are being reported to the Ohio Department of Health more frequently in the past decade, with Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) being the most common.

Reducing exposure to ticks is the best defense against tickborne diseases. Tick exposure can occur year-round, but ticks are most active during warmer months (April-September). You and your family can take several steps to prevent tick bites.

Remember the following to be tick smart: PROTECT. CHECK. REMOVE. WATCH. 

10 Steps to Staying Tick Smart:

  1. Walk in the middle of trails; avoid tall grass, brush, and leaf litter.

  2. Use EPA-registered repellents with DEET according to label instructions.

  3. Use permethrin for clothing according to label instructions.

  4. Wear long pants, long sleeves, and long socks; tuck pant legs into socks.

  5. Wear light colors to make it easier to see ticks.

  6. Check your whole body for ticks and promptly remove any you find; shower soon after being outside where ticks might be.

  7. Continue doing tick checks 2 to 3 days after outdoor activities in tick infested areas.

  8. Watch for symptoms which may include fever, headache, joint pain, muscle aches, fatigue, or rash.

  9. Tell your healthcare provider if you do get symptoms.

  10. Ask your veterinarian about protection for your furry friends.

CDC has developed an interactive tool that will guide you through the process of removing attached ticks and seeking healthcare, if appropriate, after a tick bite.

Sources: Ohio Department of HealthCenters for Disease Control and Prevention

When to See Your Provider

Should I see my healthcare provider or go to the emergency room to have a tick removed?

You do not need to go to your healthcare provider or to the emergency room to have a tick removed. Most of the time, you can remove a tick safely and correctly using the method described in the Prevent Tick Bites section. If you have trouble removing the tick or if you can't reach the part of your body where the tick is attached, try asking a family member or friend to help. Make sure they review the removal method in the Prevent Tick Bites section first!

Keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

Call your healthcare provider if you get any of the following after a tick bite, or after spending time in tick habitat:

  • Rash

  • Fever

  • Fatigue

  • Headache

  • Muscle pain

  • Facial paralysis

  • Joint swelling and pain

Be sure to mention your recent tick bit and where/when it happened, or that you have spent time in places where ticks may live. 

Sources: Ohio Department of HealthCenters for Disease Control and Prevention

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