Take precautions, but do not panic: rare diseases in Washington State | Local

YAKIMA, Wash. – So there's good news: the incidence of tick-borne disease in the state of Washington is relatively rare.

The most prevalent disease in the state, relapsing fever transmitted by ticks, is only reported 10 to 12 times a year, said epidemiologist from the state Department of Health Hanna Oltean.

Lyme disease is even less common, with less than five cases per year in the state, not counting the cases that people trapped while traveling out of state. And there has not been a reported case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in Washington since 2011, and that was never confirmed by laboratory tests.

"Tick-borne diseases are very rare in the state of Washington," Oltean said. "Compared to other parts of the country, we do not have much to worry about"

So that's the good news. Here's the bad news: Tick-related disease is on the rise across the country, tick populations have been booming for years, and even ticks that do not have Lyme disease (or any other spread disease) are annoying , creepy and simply disgusting. Oh, and if you remove them incorrectly, parts of their heads may burst and remain embedded.

"The best way is to use tweezers and pull gently, just give it a little tug until it releases," said Darrell Patterson, who leads the walks as a member of the local outdoor recreation group The Cascadians.

He should know. He and a friend made a 3-mile hike near Snow Mountain earlier this year, and his friend's dog basically became a means of public transportation for ticks.

"When we got home, we pulled 100 ticks out of that dog," Patterson said.

One hundred tics. In a 3-mile walk. Of course, the dog is a bird watcher who intentionally spent the walk walking through the thickest brush he could find. But that's still a lot of tics.

It will not keep a dog away from the caterpillars, but there are many things that people can do to limit the risk of ticks catching them. On the one hand, they can wear long pants and put them in socks or use leggings to keep them closed on the bracelet. They may also wear light-colored clothing to help see ticks on their clothing, wear an insect repellent approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, and make sure they control themselves, their pets and children after they are outside.

You can do all that and still be bitten, however. If that happens, the sooner you act better, Oltean said. A tick must be placed for approximately 24 hours to transmit Lyme disease, he said. And, in general, the longer you are connected, the greater the risk of illness and the more serious the disease can be.

So, the smartest thing to do is to check it directly after a walk or an outdoor excursion. Also, if you find one or more, do not panic; It is likely that you are not sick. Just remove them carefully, observe the day they bit him and be alert to things like fevers and new skin rashes.

"Just consider any symptoms that may be badociated with things like Lyme disease," Oltean said.


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