© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Central Standard

Are You Ready For Tick Season?

John Tann via Flickr

Summer is the season for camping, walks and bike rides in wooded areas, but this also means it's the season of ticks. From April to September is tick season, and this is when the insects are most prevalent looking for a blood host. 

Not only are ticks a pain to try and remove if they get on your skin, but getting bit by one can cause serious illnesses like Lyme disease. Recently, another tick-related disease was discovered by Scott Folk, a doctor at Heartland Adult Infectious Diseases.

Last year, after seeing a few patients with symptoms he thought to be Ehrlichiosis (a disease caused by tick bites) Folk soon realized it was something he had never seen before. With the help of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Folk discovered a new disease caused by tick bites, later named the Heartland Virus.  

So far there are two patients diagnosed with this virus and there is no treatment yet for this particular tick related disease. To help prevent your chances of becoming the host for a tick and avoid contracting any of these diseases, Folk outlined a few things we can do when venturing outdoors:

  • Stay in the center of a trail when walking in the woods- ticks are usually found on the edge of a wooded area so staying where there is a path 
  • Tucks your pants into your shoes so your ankles are not exposed
  • Wearing a repellent with 20-303 percent Deet
  • The CDC has other helpful prevention tips
Central Standard Tiger Woodsheartland virus
Every part of the present has been shaped by actions that took place in the past, but too often that context is left out. As a podcast producer for KCUR Studios and host of the podcast A People’s History of Kansas City, I aim to provide context, clarity, empathy and deeper, nuanced perspectives on how the events and people in the past have shaped our community today. In that role, and as an occasional announcer and reporter, I want to entertain, inform, make you think, expose something new and cultivate a deeper shared human connection about how the passage of time affects us all. Reach me at hogansm@kcur.org.
Matthew Long-Middleton has been a talk-show producer, community producer, Media Training Manager and now the Community Engagement Manager at KCUR. You can reach him at Matthew@kcur.org, or on Twitter @MLMIndustries.