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Be Cautious Outdoors

We have gotten numerous inches of rain the past month and the season has just started. Of course, rain brings out insects especially ticks. There are two kinds of ticks, hard and soft. Hard ticks have a beak-like structure in the front containing the mouth parts where the soft ticks have their mouth parts on the underside of the body. No matter hard or soft, ticks are vectors of at least 12 diseases that affect humans and other animals.

While there are 12 diseases that ticks carry; however, two are very common within our area. Lyme disease and red meat allergy. Tick bites that spread Lyme disease starts a week after the bite which includes a rash.

Then other symptoms include fever, headache, and feeling tired. Many people have said it's like having the flu. However, unlike the flu, Lyme disease takes lots of medication and time to get through the symptoms. The tick bite that develops an allergy to red meat is from the Lone Star tick. They carry a sugar called alpha-gal which is found in red meat and not people. The person's body produces antibodies to fight the sugar, but the next time that person eats red meat their system responds to the alpha-gal and they suffer an allergic reaction.

There are ways to help the safety of yourself and family while outside. Spraying bug spray that has DEET will help with ticks and other insects like mosquitoes. Make sure you conduct daily checks on you, your family and your pets.

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