What is Tick Bite Prevention Week?
Tick Bite Prevention Week is a public health and awareness campaign in the United Kingdom and Ireland for informing the public about the different ways to prevent tick bites.
It also informs the general public that tick bites can be a serious problem and in many cases can be harmful causing infections that can lead to serious health problems.
As a matter of fact, about 3,000 people each year are affected by Lyme disease in the UK alone. This year, the awareness campaign will start on the 24th of March until the 30th of March.
This public health and awareness campaign also inform the public how to safely remove ticks and the different ways tick bites can be prevented in the first place.
Ticks are very small spiderlike arachnids that bite in order to attach themselves to the skin and feed on the blood. They typically live in the fur or feathers of animals like birds.
Human tick bites usually occur during the early part of spring until late in the summer in areas near forests or where there are many wild animals especially birds.
Most ticks do not carry diseases and tick bites usually don’t cause any health problems. However, it is very important to remove a tick as soon as it is spotted since this will help avoid diseases that can be passed on.
Make sure to remove the head of the tick which can be left when it is removed in order to prevent infection.
After removing a tick, wash the site where it bit you and look out for signs and symptoms of illness.
In some cases, tick bites can cause an allergic reaction ranging from mild to severe. Remember that ticks can carry diseases that usually cause flu-like symptoms.
Watch out for fever, nausea, headaches and muscle aches. The symptoms begin from a day after the bite up to 3 weeks later.
The common diseases caused by tick bites include
- Lyme disease
- Ricky Mountain spotted fever
- Relapsing fever
- Colorado tick fever
If any symptoms are experienced, contact a health care professional immediately.
Purpose of Tick Bite Prevention Week
The main purpose of Tick Bite Prevention Week is to reduce the incidence of tick bites.
It is also for informing the public about the dangers of tick bites and the different diseases that it can cause like Lyme disease.
The public health and awareness campaign also aim to inform the public what to do in case of a tick bite and when it is necessary to seek medical intervention.
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Preventing Tick Bites
The simplest way to avoid tick bites is by avoiding direct contact with ticks. This can be done by avoiding wooded and bushy areas that have high grass and leaf litter.
When going through trials, walk in the center. You can also use a repellent with permethrin or DEET if you cannot completely avoid contact with ticks.
DEET is applied on the skin while permethrin is applied to clothes to repel ticks.
Removing Ticks from the Body
- After going to an area with high tick infestation, shower as soon as coming indoors to wash off ticks.
- Check your whole body after returning from a tick-infested area.
- Examine your clothes and gear. If you have pets, check them carefully after coming indoors.
- Use a fine-tipped tweezer and make sure the body and head of the tick is removed.
What You Can Do on Tick Bite Prevention Week
- Post or tweet about Tick Bite Prevention Week.
- Distribute flyers on the dangers of tick bites and how to prevent them.
- Display Tick Bite Prevention Week posters in public places.
- Organize a symposium or any event for educating the public about tick bites.
- Talk to your family and friends about the dangers of tick bites.
- Contact your local radio or television station asking them to make a public service announcement about Tick Bite Prevention Week.
- Start an organization for educating the public about tick bites.
Contact your local newspaper to write an article about public health and awareness campaign.
The Message of Tick Bite Prevention Week
Tick bites are common, but it is important to know that there are dangers associated with it. There are several diseases that can be transmitted through tick bites like Lyme disease.
The best thing to do is to prevent tick bites in the first place.
If you cannot avoid tick-infested places, then you need to protect yourself and check for ticks when you get home.
If you find a tick bite, you need to clean the area and watch out for the different signs and symptoms of diseases related to tick bites.