More Disease-Carrying Ticks Being Found in Minnesota

30-40 percent of adult deer or black-legged ticks have Lyme Disease

DULUTH, Minn. – According to the Minnesota Department of Health, more ticks that carry Lyme disease and other illnesses are being found across the state.

30-40 percent of adult deer or black-legged ticks have Lyme disease. Health experts are more concerned with that species than the larger and more common wood or dog tick.

Ticks can only transmit disease if they bite a person or animal. It usually takes 24-48 hours for the disease to pass from the tick to the host.

Early signs of Lyme disease can sometimes be mistaken for COVID-19 symptoms. They include feeling off or tired and having flu-like symptoms.

About three-quarters of people with Lyme disease develop a rash near the bite site.

“If you’re not feeling great and you know you’ve been bitten by a tick, it’s better to seek medical attention sooner rather than later. There are antibiotics that people can take to help with the infection,” explained Ellen Hill, Northeast Region Epidemiologist with the Minnesota Department of Health.

The most common tick season is in the early summer. A second wave usually happens in late summer and early fall.

Experts say insect repellent that includes DEET is the best way to keep ticks away.

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