TN Dept. of Health Warns Residents to Beware of Ticks
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 6:23 am
After a record-setting number of Rocky Mountain spotted fever cases in the state last year, almost 700, the Tennessee Department of Health is reminding residents and visitors to start thinking now about prevention of tick bites.
“If the warmer weather is motivating you to be outside working or playing, just remember ticks can be found out there too, in rural and urban areas alike, and they are always looking for a free ride and meal,” said Abelardo Moncayo, Ph.D., with the TDH Division of Communicable and Environmental Diseases and Emergency Preparedness. “Tick bites should never be taken lightly; they can carry many diseases, including potentially deadly Rocky Mountain spotted fever.”
Symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever usually appear two to 14 days after a bite from an infected tick. The disease often begins with sudden onset of fever and headache. Early symptoms may resemble other diseases and include nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, lack of appetite and severe headache. Later symptoms may include rash, abdominal pain, joint pain and diarrhea.
RMSF and other tick-borne illnesses can have devastating effects, but are effectively treated with antibiotics. Persons with symptoms should see their medical provider for early diagnosis and treatment.
Tick-borne diseases are best prevented by avoiding tick bites. Some tips from the Tennessee Department of Health include:
Tennessee Department of Health