East Tennessee doctors remind people to be aware of ticks, their diseases

(Catkin/Pixabay)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Summer is here and that means people are more susceptible to tick-related diseases.

“In the summertime, ticks are more active. We’re also more active in outdoor activities in the woods and areas where ticks are more likely to live,” said Dr. Russ Dailey with the Summit Express Clinic in Farragut.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is on of the most common tick-related diseases in Tennessee.

“Tennessee is actually one of the top five states in the country where it’s prevalent,” said Dr. Dailey.

Previous story: 2-year-old Indiana girl dies from possible tick bite

Dr. Dailey says Rocky Mountain spotted Fever is a serious disease that can have long-term consequences.

“Primarily neurological problems with brain functioning and functions of someone the other nerves in your body,” said Dailey.

Most tick-borne diseases take a week to a month to cause noticeable symptoms which include fever, body and joint aches and rashes. Ticks will burrow their heads under the skin making it harder to remove them.

“If you have a tick bite and find a tick bite on you, the best way to remove it is with tweezers, grab it with the tweezers and gently but firmly pull straight away from the skin,” said Dr. Dailey.

Dr. Dailey says it is important to be proactive and cautious but people should not be afraid to go outside.

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“In Tennessee most ticks do not carry disease,” said Dr. Dailey. “The chances of catching something like this from a tick bite are fairly small but because they can have some devastating after effects, we want to make sure and treat it in the rare instance that you do get something like this.”

Dr. Dailey says Lyme disease is not common in East Tennessee, but is in surrounding areas. If you have traveled and find yourself with a fever and rash, you should see a doctor.

Remember to wear bug spray and long sleeves and pants when outdoors, especially in wooded area and areas with high grass.

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