Tick season has arrived, so it’s important that everyone does their due diligence to protect themselves, their families, and their pets from tick bites this spring.

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Most people know ticks carry Lyme disease, but did you know another tick-borne illness is increasing in New York State?

Rare Disease From Ticks Growing In New York State

According to a report from the CDC, several states saw a dramatic spike in cases of babesiosis, a disease transmitted by ticks. 

From 2011 to 2019, ten states - including New York State - had a significant increase in reported cases of the sickness; eight of them here in the northeast. 

Along with New York, the following states are also seeing a rise in infections of babesiosis:

  • New Jersey
  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • Connecticut
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • Rhode Island

How Is Babesiosis Spread?

A specific type of tick called a black-legged-tick, aka deer tick, spreads babesiosis.

Deer ticks
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It’s most often carried by younger deer ticks, known as “nymphs,” that hide in grassy, wooded areas with a lot of brush. 

Symptoms Of Babesiosis

Although most people who contract babesiosis won’t show any signs of illness, you could develop flu-like symptoms. The disease can even be fatal for those who are elderly or immunocompromised.

The symptoms to look out for are:

  • Fever/Chills/Sweats
  • Head and Body Aches
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue

Protect Yourself From Tick Bites

With nicer weather arriving in New York State, it’s important to take the steps to prevent bites from ticks.

Here’s what the CDC recommends you do to prevent tick bites this spring:

While You’re Outdoors

  1. Wear long pants and sleeves when outdoors
  2. Avoid tall, grassy areas and stay in the center of all trails
  3. Treat your clothes, shoes, and camping gear with 0.5% permethrin
  4. Use an EPA-approved insect repellent

Once You’re Indoors

  1. Check your clothing and skin for ticks
  2. Examine your pets and any gear you brought with you
  3. Shower within two hours to reduce your risk of catching disease

Where To Check For Ticks

When examining yourself for ticks, be sure to be thorough and check areas of your body you wouldn’t normally check, like your hairline and your belly button. 

Where on your body to check for ticks
CDC.gov/Canva
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Stay Safe Outdoors This Spring In New York State

Now that winter of 2023 is in the history books, we’re excited to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Just make sure you stay safe! 

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