State health officials are warning Missourians of the threats posed by tick bites.  Karen Yates, Coordinator of Vector-borne Disease Program at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, says the number of tick-borne disease cases is rising at rates that have health officials concerned.

Yates says we’re getting close to the time of year when pregnant females look for hosts who can supply food in the form of blood meals, and humans usually end up providing that nutrition.

Yates says there is good news in that the sweltering heat has chased a lot of ticks out of a lot of public areas. But that’s bad news for anyone working or enjoying the outdoors in wooded areas.

Yates advises people to avoid areas in which ticks feel at home. She suggests people going into those areas wear long pants and long sleeves to prevent skin from being exposed. And, she recommends the use of insect repellants containing from 20-percent to 50-percent DEET on exposed skin and clothing. Tick bites can result in such illnesses as tularemia and Lyme disease.


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