11 Tick-Borne Illnesses and What to Watch Out for During Your Outdoor Adventures
There are numerous species of ticks, fewer than 10 of which are known to bite humans.
These small, blood-sucking insects can be found everywhere in the United States except Alaska, though they are more common in mountainous and tropical areas with lush vegetation. Not all diseases transmitted by ticks are life-threatening; however, when left untreated, some can become fatal.
Stacker compiled a list of 11 common tick-borne diseases in the U.S. and what symptoms to watch out for as the weather warms using a variety of medical and government sources.
Understanding Tick Behavior and Transmission
Ticks have spider-like bodies and frequent areas with tall grass, logs, bushes, trees, and fallen leaves. Once they bite, they start feeding and engorging with the host's blood. They can remain attached for several days, and the longer they feed, the higher the risk of transmitting bacteria, viruses, parasites, or pathogens to their host, causing tick-borne diseases.
Preventing Tick-Borne Diseases: Tips for Outdoor Enthusiasts
The zoonosis—or infections transmitted from animals to humans—caused by ticks can be prevented by using tick repellent when outdoors, especially from spring to fall when they are more active. In warmer states, they can be found all year long. After being outside or near animals, check for ticks after you return indoors since the bites cannot be felt. If you find one, remove it immediately with tweezers. Apply the same process with pets and small children.
Keep reading to learn more about 11 tick-borne illnesses.