Tick Season is in full effect in the Hoosier State, and experts are offering much needed advice to keep you and your family safe when you’re outdoors.
Experts in Indiana are particularly on high alert after a 2-year-old Indiana girl died earlier this month after being bitten by a tick during a camping trip. Lab tests later confirmed that Kenley Ratliff of Plainfield was infected with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Dr. Chandy John, who treated Kenley when she was brought to Riley Children’s Hospital, says the disease is rare in Indiana, but that doesn’t mean Hoosiers should be any less aware, especially when it comes to children.
Officials with IU Health have outlined a number of True and False facts when it comes to Ticks.
- If you remove ticks quickly enough, you won’t be at risk for Lyme disease
- Lyme disease is curable
- You can usually spot the tick that bites you
- You need to remove the whole tick from your body
- You’ll know you have Lyme disease if you develop a bull’s eye rash
- Your doctor can tell fairly quickly if you have Lyme
5 Ways To Reduce Your Risk
- Stay on the trails; avoid walking in bushy and high grass areas.
- When possible, wear long pants and long-sleeve shirts and use insect repellent containing 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin.
- Do a tick check: Have a family member or partner check you thoroughly for ticks, especially in areas where they like to hide, like between the toes, under the arms, on the scalp and in the groin.
- Take a shower as soon as possible when you come indoors (ideally within two hours, according to the CDC) to wash off and more easily find any ticks that may be crawling on you.
- Tumble dry clothes for one hour on high heat to kill any ticks that may remain on clothing.