Map of Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon Ticks

Ticks have an unsavory reputation, and deservedly so, since some of them carry disease. They have an unpleasant way of getting under the skin and resisting being removed.

During the past few years we’ve heard plenty about Lyme Disease, which is the most-recently-discovered disease carried by ticks. There’s fear and even some panic abroad about Lyme Disease.

While it’s not to be taken lightly, this is not a fatal disease. Most people who come down with it and receive prompt treatment don’t develop complications (but a minority do, as with any illness). And tens of millions of Americans go camping year after year without contracting Lyme Disease.

Check your body periodically if you’re camping in an area that’s known to harbor ticks. If you do find one on your body, remove the tick right away. It takes at least 48 hours for Lyme Disease to be passed on to you. Not all ticks carry the disease.

A Lyme tick (deer tick) is so small that many people are unaware that they’ve been bitten. If you come down with flu-like symptoms within a couple weeks of camping out, see your doctor to get tested for Lyme Disease. A round red rash is often found around the area of the bite. If the disease remains untreated, arthritic symptoms sometimes appear weeks or months later.

Ticks are not found in all regions of the United States, and the incidence of Lyme Disease varies greatly from one area to another. Ticks are most likely to be encountered in open, grassy, or bushy places at low elevations. Their season is usually the warmer months between May and October.

The general advice is to wear long, light-colored pants tucked into your socks (as you’re most likely to pick up a tick on your lower legs), and to spray your pants and boots with bug repellent. While this will provide the best protection, many out-doorspeople clearly ignore this advice at the present time. Such precautions are probably unnecessary in most parks and wilderness areas, but worth considering in areas known to have a high incidence of Lyme Disease. Some locations where Lyme ticks are present will have warning notices posted.

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