Did you know May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month? Of course you didn’t. Every month is Lyme and tick awareness month for a hunter. Although the little bloodsuckers are active mostly during the warmer months, it’s not out of the question to pick up a parasite any time the temperature rises above 45 degrees. That means turkey hunters and early-season bowhunters in particular are at high risk for tick bites.
Most bites are harmless annoyances that leave an itchy red mark after we pull the tick off. Others can lead to a debilitating illness or even death. More than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease were reported to the Centers for Disease Control in 2012, a record that will likely be broken in coming years. At least 10 deaths were attributed to Lyme disease in Massachusetts alone in 2012.
Know your ticks and learn how to avoid Lyme disease. What better way to celebrate Lyme disease awareness month.
- Ticks can find their way past clothing, even with a proven repellent coating your clothes. That’s why you need to check your body regularly. Any itch should be inspected immediately; tick bites can start itching as soon as the parasite sinks its head into your skin. One study published by the CDC found that Lyme disease infection rates were highest among children ages 5 to 9. They contracted Lyme disease at 8.6 cases per 100,000. Check your children routinely, especially in the spring and summer. Adults aged 55 to 59 had the second-highest infection rates at 7.8 per 100,000. Males aged 2 to 24 had the lowest rates of Lyme disease.