The 2022 tick season is almost here. In Colorado, ticks are most active during late Spring, early Summer, and mid-Fall. As warmer weather draws people outdoors to do yard work and enjoy nature, the risk of encountering ticks increases, as does the likelihood of contracting tick-borne diseases.
Over 30 species of tick can be found in Colorado. The most common ticks are the American dog tick (Dermacentor variablis), Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the Brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus). These ticks can carry diseases harmful to humans.
Ticks that carry Lyme disease are not native to Colorado. No confirmed cases of the disease have originated here; however, residents who travel out of state are at risk and should be aware of the symptoms of this potentially severe neurological disease. Colorado’s most common tick-borne disease is Colorado tick fever, a virus spread by the Rocky Mountain wood tick.
The best way to avoid a tick-borne disease is to avoid ticks. As this is not always possible, the Center for Disease Control recommends the following:
If you find a tick on you, follow the steps below. You will need a pair of fine-tipped tweezers, a sealed plastic bag/container, and disinfectant. Visit www.cdc.gov.ticks/removing_a_tick.html for more information.
You may also consider taking a picture of the tick with your smartphone to help with tick identification and create a timestamp of when you were bitten.
Symptoms can vary but often include fever and a rash. Most symptoms appear within a few days to weeks after being bitten; however, some people do not develop any symptoms. If you develop a rash or fever after being bitten, seek treatment immediately and tell your doctor about the bite.
If you will be spending time outdoors this summer, take proper precautions and watch out for tick bite symptoms. For more information, contact CTSI at (303) 861 0507.
A PDF of this Technical Update is available here.
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