April 14, 2022
Mike Cherry, News Anchor/Reporter WMUR
Manchester, NH – Health officials are warning that emergency department visits for tick bites in New Hampshire have been increasing since mid-March.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Northeast leads the nation in the rate of tick bites.
Currently, the region averages 103 bites per 100,000 emergency department visits – 10 times the central region of the country.
“We’re seeing a gamut of patients coming in with various stages of tick bites – somewhere the ticks are still embedded,” said Dr. James Martin, Medical Director at Urgent Care at Milford Medical Center.
New Hampshire is a prime location for deer ticks, which carry Lyme disease and results in a wide range of symptoms.
We have occasional patients who are actually ill from their tick bites, and they have headaches and fevers and maybe the rash, muscle aches and that type of thing,” Martin said.
Some Granite Staters said they are being extra cautious this year.
“It seems to be getting progressively worse every single year, just little by little bit, but so far, it’s been good,” resident Donna Barton said. “The kids haven’t had Lyme or anything like that. But we’re definitely watching more whenever we go out in the woods. I wear long pants, long sleeves, that kind of thing.”
People are encouraged to wear repellent with DEET, and when heading inside after spending time outdoors, put clothes in the dryer to kill off ticks. A lint brush can also be used to brush ticks from clothes and pets.
Anyone heading outdoors should wear long pants and sleeves when possible. People and pets should be checked for ticks after spending time outdoors, and homeowners are advised to keep the grass cut short and get rid of standing water.
If you find a tick on your skin, don’t panic.
“If it’s been on there for 24 or 36 hours, you should seek medical attention, but if you got it off fairly quickly and the tick wasn’t engorged, but you happen to leave a little piece of the tick behind, that’s OK, your skin will push it out over time,” Martin said.