UVA Health seeing more patients with tick-borne diseases
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Deer tick season has become a year-round event, and UVA Health says that because of this, it has seen many patients come in with tick-borne diseases.
“There’s a number of different ticks and tick borne diseases in the area,” Doctor Chris Holstege said. “We think about Lyme disease. We also see Ehrlichiosis. We’ve seen Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which seems strange, we’re not in the Rocky Mountains, but that’s where it started, kind of like how Lyme started in Lyme, Connecticut.”
Dr. Holstege says Lyme disease in particular is something he is seeing more of at UVA Health.
“If it’s warmer, the ticks are going to be more active and they’re going to not be killed by a very cold or longer cold winter,” he said.
He has also seen this at home, as one of his sons contracted Lyme disease from a tick bite.
“He had stage two Lyme disease. Had a lot of joint aches, fatigue and it took a little while for him to recover from that,” Dr Holstege said.
Dr. Holstege says to protect yourself from tick bites by wearing appropriate gear when you go outside or hiking, and to shower immediately when you get back inside.
“I personally like long pants to keep covered, Permethrin creams, there’s some other tick repellents that are out there that you can use.” Dr. Holstege said. “Try to wash them off before they’re able to really bite and imbedded when it’s harder to get them off. Running water will pull them off.”
Ticks typically have to be attached for 24 to 48 hours before they can transmit disease, but always stay safe and perform tick checks after coming back from a day outside.
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