Summer and warm temperatures are great for getting out and enjoying the weather but it also marks the start of tick season, and this year could be one of the worst.
This year ticks could be carrying a disease called Powassan virus. It is more dangerous than Lyme disease and nearly 10 percent of all cases of Powassan virus are deadly.
The disease can cause swelling in the brain and spinal cord if you are infected so it is very important that you make sure to protect yourself while you are outside this summer.
There are some ways to make sure you stay safe:
Wear long sleeves and cover up as much skin, especially in wooded areas
Wear bug repellant – DEET-based products work best
Do a tick inspection on your entire body when you come inside
Always shower after being outside
Lyme disease is still a concern too. It starts out with flu-like symptoms but can develop into joint pain, memory loss and extreme fatigue.
If you find a tick on you or your child make sure to call your doctor immediately and schedule an appointment. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a Lexington Clinic provider, please call (859) 258-4362.
Matthew Eaton, DO is board-certified and specializes in Family Medicine. His professional interests include evidence-based medicine, health prevention and medical education.
Lexington Clinic is Central Kentucky's largest and oldest medical group. We have more than 200 providers in more than 30 specialties taking care of 600,000+ patients in the Lexington community since 1920.