Better Weather Brings Out Parasites [AUDIO]
As the weather improves, people aren't the only ones becoming more active, which is why the Wyoming Department of Health is reminding people recreating outdoors to protect themselves from tick-borne disease. Emily Thorpe, surveillance epidemiologist for the health department, says while the number of cases in Wyoming is not high, the individual cases can be serious.
Ways to protect yourself:
"There are several things you can do to avoid ticks. Basically, don't go out in the areas they're typically found like sagebrush areas, grassy areas. And while that's hard for all the outdoor enthusiasts in Wyoming, there are some other things that you can take to protect yourself. And those things are wear DEET, especially 20 percent or more DEET, because you need a little bit stronger concentration to avoid them than to avoid mosquitoes. You can wear long-sleeve, long-pant clothing, tuck them in your socks, those sorts of things. Light colored clothing is good as well."
Ms. Thorpe recommends that if someone becomes ill after a tick bite or after handling a sick or dead animal, that person should contact a medical professional.
The point of light colored clothing is so the tiny arachnids can be seen more easily.
According to a health department release, the diseases carried by ticks in Wyoming include tularemia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Colorado tick fever.