The Wyoming Department of Health is reminding state residents to take steps to protect themselves from potentially serious diseases carried by ticks.

That's according to a Friday WDH news release.

The department says common illnesses spread by the blood-sucking insects in Wyoming include tularemia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) and Colorado tick fever (CTF).

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever symptoms include such things as fever, nausea, muscle pain and lack of appetite. Tuleremia symptoms include include fever, swollen and painful lymph glands, skin ulcers, diarrhea, and inflamed eyes. Tick Fever may cause fever, headache, muscle and joint pain and, a rash.

While Lyme disease is a concern in many parts of the country, the ticks carrying that illness are unknown in Wyoming.

How To Protect Yourself From Ticks

The agency reccomends the following steps during Wyoming tick season:

  • Apply insect repellents registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, such as those containing 20 percent or more DEET and/or picaridin.
  • Treat outdoor clothing and gear with products containing 0.5 percent permethrin.
  • Avoid brushy areas with high grass. When hiking, walk in the center of trails.
  • Upon returning from potentially tick-infested areas, shower and search self and children for ticks, and remove if found.
  • To kill ticks on dry clothing, tumble dry on high heat for 10 minutes after being in tick areas. If clothes require washing, use hot water.
  • Check pets for ticks; use tick control products recommended by veterinarians.
  • Carefully handle live or dead potentially infected animals such as rabbits and rodents.
  • Always follow product instructions when using permethrin and insect repellents.

Courtney Tillman, an epidemiologist with the department, says Wyoming tick seaspn typically starts in May..

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