Q: Can ticks in Wisconsin infect people with Lyme disease?
A: Yes, Lyme disease is more prevalent in North Wisconsin than in South Wisconsin, according to Rebecca Osborn, a health ministry tick specialist.
"Much of this has to do with the nature of the habitat," Osborn said. The northern part of the state has more forests and forest habitats that support a higher number of ticks and their host animals.
Lyme disease remains a risk in South Wisconsin, with cases in the past increasing several years.
"All Wisconsin residents are at some risk of contracting Lyme disease, as this disease is so prevalent in our state Spring, summer and fall carry a higher risk of getting Lyme disease, "said Osborn.
If you get a fever or rash within 30 days From a known or potential tick bite, you should consult a doctor, Osborn said.
If used earlier, oral antibiotics are used and patients usually recover completely, according to the department.
Early symptoms include fever, headache and rashes If left untreated, people with Lyme disease may develop swelling in their joints, brain and spinal cord, facial paralysis, heart failure and nerve pain. Lyme disease may be difficult to treat in later stages and may require intravenous treatment. Some patients have symptoms that may never disappear or recur after the treatment has ended.
To avoid tick bites that could infect you with Lyme or other tick-borne diseases, the department recommends the use of insect repellents with DEET, picaridine, IR3534 or lemon eucalyptus oil on skin and clothing, and pesticide permethrin on clothing and outdoor equipment.
If you find a tick embedded in your skin, you should remove it as soon as possible by touching it as close to the skin as possible and pulling up and covering it with tweezers or fingers with handkerchiefs or rubber gloves. After removal, clean the area of the bite with alcohol.
You should not use other products such as Vaseline, a hot match or nail polish to remove the tick.