Watch out for ticks, folks

Few things are better than a Northeast Michigan summer, and the best part of a Northeast Michigan summer is getting outside to enjoy nature’s splendor.

But, as reporter Crystal Nelson reminded us in a Saturday story, that splendor comes with risks.

Alpena County is currently considered a potential risk for lyme disease, Nelson reported in Saturday’s edition, as black-legged ticks have been found here but haven’t tested for the bacteria that causes the disease.

Alcona County is now considered a known risk for lyme disease, meaning officials have confirmed at least two exposures to lyme disease or that ticks collected in the county have tested positive for the bacteria.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says lyme disease can cause severe headaches or neck stiffness, rashes, arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, loss of muscle tone or drooping on one or both sides of the face, and irregular heartbeats.

To prevent tick exposure, the CDC recommends treating clothing with bug repellants that contain 0.5% permethrin and spraying skin with repellant that contains DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone.

After coming in from the woods, the CDC recommends closely examining clothing, gear, pets, and yourself –including under your arms, behind your ears, and around your waist–for ticks. If you see one on your body, use tweezers to grab the tick close to your skin and pull gently. Then wash the area with soap.

God’s beauty is the best part of our area, and, with a little precaution, you can enjoy it safely.

(THE ALPENA NEWS)