JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Department of Health is warning people to make sure they take precautions against ticks and mosquitoes as we kick off the summer.
In a news release, the ADH stated that Arkansas has some of the highest rates in the nation for tick-borne diseases.
Those diseases include Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia, Lyme Disease, and the Heartland Virus.
Some tick-borne diseases can be fatal if not treated.
While being bitten by a tick or mosquito does not mean they will transmit a disease, there are still symptoms you need to watch out for in yourself and your children after being exposed to them.
"Look for those symptoms of fatigue, fever, a rash that develops around that tick bite location on yourself or your child for up to a couple of weeks," said Dr. Amanda Deel, the Assistant Dean at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine at A-State.
If you do have those symptoms, make sure to tell your doctor that you were exposed to a tick bite.
Dr. Deel recommends several preventative measures when you are outdoors including using insect repellant and an insecticide like permethrin on your clothes.
- It’s also best to wear long sleeves and pants when in a wooded area or tall grass.
- To reduce mosquitoes around your home, get rid of standing water on the property.
- Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a bottle cap full of water, according to the ADH.
- Remember to check yourself, children, and pets for ticks when coming back inside.
- Use tweezers to remove a tick, pulling straight up.
"No twisting or turning," Dr. Deel said. "And no painting the tick with nail polish or gasoline or any other caustic-type of material. Just use tweezers and pull straight up."
You can learn more about insect-related diseases at www.healthy.arkansas.gov.