The summer months have given everyone a chance to enjoy the beauty of nature. Even though the fall semester is ramping up summer seems to be hanging on with a tight grip. The temperatures are rising and the humidity thick. Once school starts the warm sun and refreshing breeze off Lake Michigan will beckon students to spend lunch and study time on the campus lawn or at local parks.
While enjoying these outdoor breaks is one of the best ways to relax, students shouldn’t forget to protect themselves from ticks. Lyme disease cases have been on the rise and the warm weather is helping to create a tick season that may last until October. The risk is also great for anyone with pets; specifically dogs.
President Obama and his family have a new addition to their family. Sunny, a Portuguese Water Dog, is now a part of our First Family. Along with Bo, this means the Obama family has two dogs that are a part of their busy lifestyle. Each dog has grooming needs and while it’s probably not a lot of work for the President while he is in office; someday he will be involved with cleaning, grooming and buying pet supplies. Ticks may also be involved.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention nearly 300,000 people are infected by Lyme disease each year. This number is 10 times what was previously reported. The symptoms can often start with a rash that shows up just a few days after a tick bite. However, some people do not experience a rash, but instead have flu-like symptoms such as headache, fatigue and fever. Any student that experiences these symptoms after knowing they had a tick bite or after spending time in the woods should see a physician right away.
Lyme Disease Prevention
Probably the best way to avoid Lyme disease is through a combination of insect repellent, a body check for ticks and proper cleaning of all clothing. The most important aspect of a good insect repellent is that it contains 20% of more of DEET. The best way to check your body is in a shower and clothing should be washed and tumble dried. It turns out that ticks don’t survive longer than 5 minutes in a heated dryer. If you have pets make sure you also check them for ticks.