Mosquitoes and ticks are back in season. This year is expected to be worse for them because of damp and warm weather. Mosquitoes with the Zika virus like to bite ankles and lower legs and are out all day. If you get a bite and have a rash fever and joint pain, contact your doctor immediately. Lyme disease is also a concern, nymph mosquitoes are found in cool moist environments, such as in leaf litter or on logs, tree trunks or fallen branches in oak woodlands. The adults are found on the tips of grass, and shrubs, often alongside trails. Lime disease bites develop lesions and a rash.
A new comer to the tick worries is one that carries the Powassan (POW) virus. This is most commonly found in the same tick that hosts Lyme disease, however within two to three hours of being bitten by the tick with POW virus, a person may develop headaches, nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, memory loss and speech difficulty, they do not develop lesions and a rash. In addition, in severe cases of POW virus can infiltrate the central nervous system, causing inflammation in the brain, spine and leading to encephalitis meningitis. In many cases it leads to hospitalization. It unlike Lyme disease, cannot be treated with antibiotics. This virus’ favorite host to date is the white-tailed deer who are growing in population in Connecticut and in the Northeast. Spotting these ticks can be prove to be challenging, as their nymph stage is about the size of a poppyseed. These ticks like to attach and feed quickly they like the waist, behind the knees and even below the hairline.
Minimize your chances of being bitten by:
Taking precautions when going outdoors – wear long pants and tuck them into socks; also wear long sleeve shirts, this is so you can spot ticks easier. In your yards keep watch for standing water, mosquitoes love to “swim and attack/bite.”
Avoiding areas where ticks are know to be; staying in the middle of trails; avoiding grassy areas, logs or fallen tree branches. Thoroughly check yourself and others for ticks up to three days after activities in noted tick areas. Shower soon after returning from a tick habitat; before washing clothes, place them in a hot dryer for 10 minutes to kill ticks. To remove a tick, use tweezers to grasp it as close to the skin possible, then pull it straight out. Save it and take it to the doctor if you become ill.