Michigan Health Department Warns About Tick Season

Ticks can carry a number of diseases, like Lyme disease. So, while you’re out enjoying the warmer weather it’s good to take some precautions.

Daniel Thorell from the Grand Traverse County Health Department said, “We had a person who came in just last week who had a dog tick or a wood tick attached to them.”

The Grand Traverse Country Health Department wants you to protect yourself and your pets from ticks.

“Living in Northern Michigan, where you may live in an area that’s surrounded by woods, so even in your backyard your pet could come in, or yourself could come in, with a tick.”

Ticks can attach to any part of the human body but are often found in hard to see places. Thorell said ticks come in a variety of species, sizes and carry a number of health risks:

“There are several different species in Michigan, they all have distinctive markings on them. And really the one we’re concerned with is the blacklegged tick that carries Lyme disease,” he said.

The blacklegged tick is one of the smaller ticks in Michigan. If you find one on you or your pet just follow these steps:

Dr. Isaac Burrell, with Stoney Corners Veterinary Service, said, “If you see a tick on your pet just stay calm, you can pull them off just very slowly, you don’t want to rip them off, just slow firm traction with a pair of tweezers.”

Veterinarian’s also have preventative medication.

Dr. Burrell said, “They won’t prevent the tick from climbing on them, it’ll prevent them from staying and biting and transmitting disease.”

If you do find a tick you can send it to the health department to be tested so scientists can study the tick and its origin.

Thorell said, “The tick actually goes into this little vile right here, and if it is a Black Legged Tick and it was attached they will test it in their laboratory to see if it does have Lyme disease.”

The health department said that Lyme disease is rare in Northern Michigan as most cases appear in the southern part of the state.

Categories: Michigan This Morning