Summer is about fun in the sun. Unfortunately, it can also be about a mighty threat posed by a tiny pest the deer tick.
As disease carriers go, deer ticks have gained infamy as potential conveyors of Lyme disease a bacterial infection that can pack a flu-like punch complete with symptoms that can include a tell-tale rash, muscle aches, headaches, fever, and fatigue.
And though treatable with antibiotics bite prevention is the weapon of choice for avoiding Lyme disease altogether. The experts at the National Institutes of Health advise people to cover up exposed skin when possible. Wearing shirts and pants pre-treated with a chemical repellent like permethrin can also be effective, they note.
One nationally renowned expert says that applying insect repellant directly to the skin is another safe bet for lowering risk so long as DEET content remains below 40% for adults and 30% for children.
And because ticks don't fly or jump, keeping lawns trimmed is a smart way to stop ticks from making the move from grass to skin.
I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.