Tick-Borne Illnesses Skyrocketing
The number of tick-borne illnesses has more than doubled. There are reports of massive tick infestations and strange diseases originating from ticks, so what does that mean for us here in Idaho? This is what you need to be aware of.
Overall, tick-borne illnesses are not a huge problem in Idaho according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
In a twelve year span between 2004 and 2016 we only saw only 186 cases of tick-borne illnesses; in fact, we had the 8th lowest rate of tick-borne illnesses in the country.
Lyme disease doesn't even affect us here in the Gem State because the type of ticks that carry Lyme don't live in Idaho.
Before you breathe easy though, an article in the Idaho Statesman points out that we do need to be aware of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. According to the CDC the disease can be deadly and symptoms include a high fever, rash, and headache. The tick-borne illness is treated with a specific antibiotic. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever reached an all-time high here in Idaho back in 2006, with 14 cases reported.
Tularemia can also be a problem here in Idaho. This is another tick-borne illness that can prove deadly if not treated with antibiotics.
One of the worst things that can happen is this brain swelling disease that Rick recently reported on.
Ticks come out to cause trouble most commonly between May and July. People here in Boise have already reported seeing ticks in the Boise Foothills and local parks. To prevent tick-borne illnesses be sure to always use insect repellent that will keep ticks away when you go camping or spend time outdoors.