Health officials share tips to prevent disease spread by ticks - WKRN News 2

Health officials share tips to prevent disease spread by ticks

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Health department officials hope to reduce the number cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever this year, a disease spread through ticks.

Last year in Tennessee, the state saw a record-setting number of people with Rocky Mountain spotted fever at 700 total.

"There are steps they can take whether they are in the backyard playing with their kids or their dogs, or they're going on a backpacking trip over the weekend," said Brian Todd with the health department.

Wearing light colored clothing is recommended so ticks are more visible. Tucking the leg of pants into socks helps keep them off of legs as well.

Insect repellent like Deet works to keep ticks away, and for those who prefer organic remedies, experts say that lemon eucalyptus does the trick.

Experts also recommended checking oneself and children often after bring outside for a while, especially when returning home.

If bitten by a tick, Todd said that it should be removed.

"There are ways that you can actually get into, whether you have tweezers or something that can remove the whole tick. Sometimes their head can almost burrow into your skin, so make sure you get the whole tick," he explained.

The symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever are very similar to the flu.

"You might have body aches, a fever, just feel kind of bad in general, and of course if  you've been out into the woods and you found a tick on you and you start feeling ill like that, contact you physician," Todd said.

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