How to handle tick season in North Carolina

The CDC has a witty apology for all those it offended with its warning on Twitter about tick season.

The agency posted a photo of a poppy seed muffin and asked people to spot the five ticks resting on its top to prove just how small ticks can be and raise awareness about the potential dangers of a tick bite.

Dr. Dan Ostrovsky with Duke Children's Primary Care in Durham said that tick season will typically peak in August in North Carolina and unless you take the right steps, you could be adding to your chances for tick-borne illnesses such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

"When you have a healthy child or adult who presents with high fevers and not much else going on, and maybe plus or minus a history of being outside a lot, that makes us really suspicious for tick-borne illness," said Dr. Ostrovsky.

A rash could also appear seven to 10 days after the initial tick bite.

Dr. Ostrovsky said he can typically treat rashes with antibiotics, but prevention is key.

For children over two months, he recommends Deet.

Also, you should wear long sleeves, pants, and closed toe shoes.

When you come inside from the outdoors, a thorough check-over can help you spot a tick and remove it.

Dr. Ostrovsky said be sure to remove the entire tick, especially the head that carries the bacteria.

You can then save the tick and if symptoms appear, bring it to your doctor so they'll know what they're working with and treat it accordingly.

"The important part is just to be mindful that there are things like ticks and bugs out there that can cause illness and just protect yourself before you go out," said Dr. Ostrovsky.
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