Hiking, Trail Running, & Ticks

Spring is here and many of us go outdoors for our workouts. Most of us would prefer to find activities outside where we can enjoy the beautiful flowers, trees, and sunshine.

However, those that flock to wooded areas to run trails or hike are at increased risk for tick bites. Ticks can be difficult to see (with many being the size of a pinhead) and often people are unaware they have one attached or have been bitten.

According to WebMD Health News, the CDC will begin tracking the nation’s tick population and tick-borne illnesses. Over the last few decades tick, flea, and mosquito diseases have more than doubled with ticks being the most prevalent causative factor of the increase.

Richard S. Ostfeld, PhD, a disease ecologist with the Millbrook, NY-based Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies reports:

In 2017, the number of tick-borne disease cases reported to the CDC rose 22%, to 59,349. But the number of Americans with tick-related diseases was likely much higher — closer to 300,000 to 400,000 — because not all Lyme disease cases are reported to the CDC, says John Aucott, MD, chairman of a national tick-borne disease working group, supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Lyme disease is caused by a blacklegged tick  or (deer tick)  bite. Symptoms can include rash, fever, and headaches. Therefore, get tested if you develop these symptoms after being outside in tall grass or a wooded area.  Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose; it’s important to get treated with antibiotics early to avoid progression of the disease. Check out these important facts:

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Protect yourself from ticks:

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  •  Wear protective clothing. Even though the temperature is rising, it’s best to wear leggings or pants and wear knee socks over them. Also, wear a lightweight shirt with long sleeves and a hat.

 

  •  Stay away from tall grass and stay in the center of trails.
  • Check yourself for ticks before you go home: Check scalp, ears (inside and out), arms, stomach and inside navel, back of knees, and ankles.

If you find a tick on you:

 

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