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Now that the weather is warm, people flock to their favorite outdoor activities. If you live in an area where ticks are common, you need to be on the lookout for these parasites. By following a few simple precautions, you can minimize your risk of being bitten by a tick. This article also explains possible complications from tick bites that people need to be aware of.

Summer is Ideal for Outdoor Adventures — and Ticks

Ticks are out and about. Unfortunately, if you spend much time outdoors this summer, chances are you will pick up at least one of the nasty little creatures. Ticks are a type of arachnid, related to spiders; unlike spiders, however, ticks prey on your blood to complete their life cycles. Although most tick bites are mildly annoying and perhaps itchy, some ticks can transmit serious diseases to humans and animals. If you have been bitten by a tick, look out for the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rash
  • Joint Pain
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Confusion
  • Weakness

If in the days or weeks following a tick bite, you experience unusual fatigue, joint pain, fever, weakness, or general malaise for no obvious reason, you should go to the doctor. Also, pay attention to the area surrounding the tick bite. A large bulls-eye shape around the bite could indicate Lyme disease, although there are numerous other tick-borne illnesses, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis.

There are precautions you can take to minimize your chances of being bitten by a tick. First, try to avoid areas of tall grass, since this is a likely tick habitat. If you must venture into the weeds, wear light-colored clothing so that ticks will be noticeable.

You should wear long sleeves and pants when possible, and tuck your pants legs into your socks so that ticks can’t crawl up your legs.

Be sure to wear insect repellent when outdoors. Repellents with DEET work well on both ticks and mosquitoes, so this is a two-for-one deal.

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