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The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) recommends taking precautions against ticks and the diseases they carry.

“The highest risk of tickborne disease transmission occurs between late spring and early fall,” said Laura Cronquist, an epidemiologist with the NDDoH. “The key to preventing tickborne diseases, such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, is to avoid tick bites and find and remove ticks promptly.”

The NDDoH offers the following tips to help reduce the risk of tick bites:

•Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellent. To find EPA registered products, go to www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-insect-repellent-right-you. Always follow label directions.

•Use products that contain permethrin to treat clothing and gear such as boots, backpacks and tents.

•Talk with your veterinarian about using tick preventives on your pet.

•Avoid wooded and brushy areas with tall grass and leaf litter.

•Walk in the center of trails.

•Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks.

•Carefully examine gear and pets for ticks.

•Place clothes in a dryer on high heat for ten minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors.

The most common symptoms of tickborne diseases include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and joint pain. Early detection of tickborne diseases is essential to prevent potentially severe complications. Individuals should seek medical care if they develop symptoms suggestive of a tickborne illness after spending time outdoors.

For more information on tickborne diseases and tick bite prevention, contact Laura Cronquist at lcronquist@nd.gov, 701-328-2378 or 800-472-2180.

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