Man Catches First Case Of Tick-Borne Disease In Washington State
The first locally caused case of a disease spread by ticks called Anaplasmosis has left a Washington State man in the hospital. This isn't the first time the disease has appeared here, but the first time that the case originated in Washington State. Other cases were from people traveling outside of Washington and then getting sick back home.
The man, in his 80's, caught the disease while working in brush outside of his house in Mason County according to news reports. The symptoms are a lot like the flu or covid-19 infection warns the Benton Franklin Health District. An expert for the district said "symptoms can be fever and chills, a headache, quite a severe headache, nausea, vomiting." She went on to say "If you're experiencing these symptoms and know you've had an exposure to a tick, that's when you really need to go see your medical provider, explain this happened to you so they know how to test and what to test for."
If you are infected by a tick after being in the outdoors, expect symptoms to show 1 to 2 weeks after infection. The disease is luckily treatable by antibiotics, so if you think you have been infected go see your doctor immediately. There is no vaccine available and waiting to get treatment after infection can cause serious complications, especially to people with pre-existing medical conditions according to reports.
DOH gives some great tips on how to avoid contact or infection with ticks.
- When possible, avoid wooded and bushy areas with tall grass and fallen leaves, which are where ticks typically live.
- When in tick habitats, wear light-colored clothing and long-sleeved shirts and pants, so that ticks can be more easily spotted and to help prevent them from attaching to skin.
- Apply EPA-registered insect repellents to clothing and skin, following label instructions.
- Carefully check yourself, family members, and pets for ticks after being in potential tick habitats.
- Shower soon after being outdoors to wash off any unattached ticks.
- If ticks are found, promptly remove them with fine-tipped tweezers, then clean the area with antiseptic.
For more information, visit doh.wa.gov.
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