Ticks Are Becoming More Dangerous


3 types of ticks lined up on a fingertip to show size.

Adela Storey

This summer, ticks are projected to rapidly increase in population size, which puts the world at risk for Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

A case in Hillview, Kentucky shows that even Spotted Fever, a rare illness carried by ticks, can be on the rise again after a toddler was bitten by a tick and began to show symptoms only a few days after. This bacterial infection, usually carried by the American Dog Tick and Brown Dog Tick, can cause high fever and a full body rash within 2 days after the bite. It is vital to get checked immediately after the tick is found since Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can be fatal if left untreated for long periods of time.

Even though lyme disease isn’t as high risk as Spotted Fever, it is still important to know the symptoms and see a doctor for treatment. The bacterium that causes Lyme is called Borrelia burgdorferi, and is commonly spread by black legged ticks. Symptoms of this disease include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash. If this disease is left untreated, the infection begins to spread to the joints, heart and nervous system.

Both illnesses can be treated by a round of antibiotics, but you must see a doctor if you experience any symptoms after being bitten by a tick. To avoid ticks, stay away from tall grass, don’t stand under trees for a long period of time, use tick repellent spray, and check pets thoroughly before letting them indoors.