Tick season is underway experts warn the effects for humans and animals

Published: May. 30, 2023 at 6:54 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Recent data from the CDC reported the number of tick disease cases jumped 25% from 2011 to 2019. Pediatrician, Molly O’Rourke said taking precautions when you or your family is outside is key.

“Just be more proactive. Keeping your kids in areas that are less likely to have tick bites. Using sprays when you think your child might be exposed and watching for it,” O’Rourke said.

She also added that after being outside it is important to check yourself and your kids from head to toe. She said it is a vital part of being proactive.

“Really any exposed area. Children, they tend to move their clothing. So, even though they might have not been exposed if they had their shirt tucked in, they can pull the shirt up and then all of the sudden get a tick bite,” she said.

Doctors said ticks have been more common this year and O’Rourke said the chance of humans contracting diseases such as Lyme disease is rare in our area.

“A tick can cause a small infection or irritation at the site of the bite. We don’t have Lyme here typically, but it is a possibility,” she said.

Veterinarian, Courtney Frazier said there is a larger risk for your furry friends, and she has seen an increase in dogs testing positive for tick diseases.

“With ticks there is a ton of diseases that they can transmit. A lot of people have heard of Lyme’s Disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever because those are the ones that we see really commonly here,” said Frazier.

She said it takes less than 48 hours for ticks to transmit disease, so it is vital to check your pets when they come in from outside.

“If for some reason they think that it has been attached for longer than that. I would recommend a checkup with your vet just to make sure. There is a test that we can do to test for some of the more popular tick-borne diseases. If that test is positive for an anti-body a lot of times, we do start on an antibiotic just prophylactically to make sure that we are going to clear an infection,” she said.

O’Rourke and Frazier said using tweezers to remove ticks at home is most effective for both humans and animals. If you have any concerns, consult with your vet or primary care doctor.