As Summer Temps Rise, So Do Numbers of Tick Bites

Aug 4, 2023

Emergency Department Visits for Tick Bites 2023

Ticks are little pests that love to bite people, especially when they're outside. Lately, there have been more ticks in the US. And more people are going to the hospital because of tick bites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Tick season normally runs from April to October. That's when the tiny, blood-sucking arachnids are most active. However, this year’s hot weather lengthened that time frame. People are also spending more time outdoors, so they're more likely to get bitten. The CDC’s Tick Bite Data Tracker shows that in May and June of this year, more people went to the doctor for tick bites than any time since 2019. It's good that people are being careful because ticks can give you some nasty illnesses. These include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and babesiosis. 

Ticks like to feed on wild animals like deer, but they're happy to bite people too. If you get bitten, it's best to remove the tick carefully.  

Using tweezers and pulling the tick straight out is the best way, Kait Chapmen told CNN. She is an entomologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She also says not to twist or squeeze the tick. If you do, some of the tick's mouth might stay in your skin, or the tick could throw up, making you more likely to get sick. 

The best thing is to not get bitten at all. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy the woods, but be safe. Wear long sleeves and use bug sprays with the chemical DEET. They can help keep ticks away. 

Reflect: Why is it important to take precautions when spending time outdoors, and what are some ways you can protect yourself from potential dangers?

Based on the information in the infographic, which region of the US has experienced the fewest emergency room visits for tick bites so far in 2023? (Common Core RI.5.7; RI.6.7)
a. West
b. South Central
c. Midwest
d. Northeast
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