While I was up at Noble View in Russell, MA this last weekend with some AIAO staff and other outdoorsy types re-certifying in wilderness first aid, one of my fellow classmates found a tick on her arm. And, just like that, I went from blissful winter mode to vigilant tick-check mode.
You see, I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease a couple of years ago, and I can tell you from first hand experience that it’s no fun. And Lyme is not the only tick-borne illness to be concerned about; there are many others.
This is my reminder to you: it’s time to reinstate our regular warm weather precautions to prevent tick bites. Light colored clothing, long pants and shirt sleeves, tucking pants into long socks, using various bug repellants, avoiding tall grasses, and tick-checks are all good things to consider. But education trumps them all.
The University of Massachusetts also offers, for a fee, ttick-pathogentesting. You can visit their website for more information. You can also visit the CDC’s site for more information on the efficacy of these tests.