Missouri Authorities Urge Caution as Tick Season Peaks

The Missouri Department of Conservation and Health & Senior Services warn residents of the peak tick season from April to July, urging caution in woodland and grassy areas where ticks are prevalent, and providing guidance on prevention and removal to mitigate the risk of tick-borne diseases. The article highlights the expansion of lone star ticks into northern states, the various diseases they can transmit, and the importance of proactive measures to prevent tick bites and disease contraction." This description focuses on the primary topic of tick season and tick-borne diseases, the main entities involved (Missouri Department of Conservation and Health & Senior Services), the context of woodland and grassy areas, and the significant actions and consequences related to prevention and removal. The description also provides objective and relevant details that will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as the setting and the importance of caution during peak tick season.

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Nitish Verma
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Missouri Authorities Urge Caution as Tick Season Peaks

Missouri Authorities Urge Caution as Tick Season Peaks

The Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services are warning residents to be vigilant for ticks in woodland and grassy areas from April to July, the peak period of tick activity in the state. Ticks are commonly found in areas with tall grasses, weeds, and brush during this time.

Why this matters: The rise of tick-borne diseases poses a significant threat to public health, particularly in regions where ticks are becoming more prevalent. As the environment continues to change, it's essential for residents to take proactive measures to prevent tick bites and for authorities to monitor and respond to the growing risk of tick-borne illnesses.

Lone star ticks, previously found mostly in the Southeastern United States, are expanding their territory and increasing in numbers. They are now becoming more common in northern states and parts of Canada, where they were once scarce. Most ticks take blood from a variety of small and large mammals, reptiles, and birds.

Tick-borne diseases reported in Missouri include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, Heartland virus, Bourbon virus, Lyme or a Lyme-like disease, and the southern tick-associated rash illness. Human case numbers per year for tick-borne diseases are generally on the rise due to better recognition and disease reporting, as well as changes in the environment.

To prevent tick bites, authorities recommend walking in the center of trails to avoid overhanging brush and tall grass, using insect repellents containing DEET, wearing permethrin-treated clothing, and wearing light-colored clothing to spot ticks more easily. Tucking or taping pant legs into socks can slow ticks down, and conducting prompt, careful inspections and removal of ticks can prevent disease.

If a tick becomes attached, it should be removed using tweezers around the area where the tick's mouth parts enter the skin, using a slow, steady motion to pull it away. The skin should then be disinfected with soap and water or other available disinfectants. Signs and symptoms of tick-borne disease include sudden high fever, severe headache, muscle or joint aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash or pus-filled wound at the site of a tick bite, or a spreading rash that follows a tick bite or exposure to tick habitat.

By taking precautions and being aware of the risks, Missouri residents can reduce their chances of being bitten by ticks and contracting tick-borne illnesses during the peak tick season from April to July. Prompt removal of attached ticks and watching for signs and symptoms of tick-borne disease are also important steps in preventing serious illness.

Key Takeaways

  • Missouri residents warned to be vigilant for ticks from April to July.
  • Lone star ticks expanding territory, increasing in numbers in northern states.
  • 8 tick-borne diseases reported in Missouri, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
  • Prevent tick bites with DEET, permethrin, light-colored clothing, and prompt inspections.
  • Remove attached ticks with tweezers, watch for signs of tick-borne disease.