Last Updated on Apr 21, 2015

Health Tips

Following certain preventive safety measures can help to lower the risk of infection:

  • When spending time outdoors, especially in a region where the disease is endemic, make it a point to wear long pants, long sleeved and light colored clothing, and boots if you’re going to be passing through dense foliage. As far as possible, try to stick to cleared paths rather than walking through bushes.
  • Permethrin, which is a synthetic insecticide present in some fabrics is extremely toxic to ticks and may actually repel them! In addition, you can also use insecticide containing DEET to repel ticks.
  • Keeping your yard tidy doesn’t just offer aesthetic benefits, but it can actually help reduce problems with insects and pests. Clearing the yard off twigs and fallen leaves can help as it means that ticks have fewer places to live and hide.
  • Pet owners need to be especially wary of ticks as pets that spend time outdoors can often pick up ticks. Make sure to groom your pet carefully and use shampoos or powders meant for tick removal.
  • If you do find a tick biting down, do make it a point to remove it, but do so carefully. Instead of removing it clumsily with your fingers, grasp it near the head using tweezers. Apply gentle pressure so that the tick is removed without crushing it. Once you’ve gotten rid of the tick, clean the area with an antiseptic.

References:

  1. Signs and Symptoms - (http://www.cdc.gov/rmsf/symptoms/)
  2. Rocky Mountain spotted fever - (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rocky-mountain-spotted-fever/basics/definition/con-20032780)
  3. Minniear TD, Buckingham SC. Managing Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2009 Nov;7(9):1131-7. doi: 10.1586/eri.09.94. Review. PubMed PMID: 19883333.
  4. Dantas-Torres F. Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Lancet Infect Dis. 2007 Nov;7(11):724-32. Review. PubMed PMID: 17961858.

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