Ticks on the Hunt — For Us; 200+ Cases of Lyme Disease in 2015

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Ticks quietly wait for us in tall grasses, leaf litter and other low vegetation.

They sense us emitting carbon dioxide. They desperately want us to walk near.

Or, to put it scientifically as our Health Department staff wrote:

“Ticks find their host by questing, a behavior in which they perch on low vegetation and wait for a suitable host to pass by, onto which they can attach and feed or by actively following chemical cues such as carbon dioxide. Once on a host, the tick attaches its hypostome (mouthpart) a central piercing element with hooks, into the host’s skin.”

Simply put, ticks are courting us for our blood in order to continue their lifecycle.

If bitten, ticks carry and transmit a remarkable array of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, spirochetes, rickettsiae, protozoa, nematodes and toxins.

That’s stuff you don’t want.

As you probably know, one of the most associated tick-borne illnesses is Lyme disease. In 2015, there were more than 200 new cases of Lyme disease in Fairfax County (however, this number does not reflect the total number of illness because many cases go unreported or undiagnosed). In this video, learn some simple ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick by the bite of a tick:

 

Tick Resources

 

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