The downside of this spring’s belatedly warm weather? Ticks.
People should be on the watch for the tiny bloodsuckers, say officials with the Spokane Regional Health District.
The Spokane area has two types of disease-carrying ticks. The first is soft ticks, with can infect people with relapsing fever, the most common tick-borne disease in the area.
Soft ticks bite and feed on a host at night and then drop, so people may not know they’ve been bitten by a tick. Symptoms of relapsing fever include fever, chills, along with headaches and muscle aces. In some cases a person might vomit, have a rash, become nauseated or have abdominal pain. The symptoms may continue for several days, stop, and then recur perhaps as many as five or six times. The second tick to check for are so-called hard ticks, also called wood or dog ticks. They bite and burrow under the skin of people and animals and could infect with tick paralysis or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Health officials say old remedies of tick removal, such as Vaseline or matches, may actually increase disease transmission. Instead, they recommend removing the tick by grasping it with tweezers or a tissue and pulling it straight out.
Medical treatment is encouraged if someone bitten by a tick exhibits disease symptoms.