CA Among Worst States For Tick-Borne Illness: Ranking

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California is one of the five worst states for tick-borne illnesses in the U.S., according to a recent ranking.

In acknowledgment of May as National Lyme Disease Awareness Month, Pest Gnome used 25 metrics across six categories including infestation risk, environmental factors, tick distribution, climate, agriculture and pest control to determine each state’s score out of 100.

The Golden State was fourth on the list with a score of 41.69, according to the ranking. Pest Gnome noted that California is one of 12 states with a yearlong tick season.

New York was the worst state for tick-borne disease, scoring 54.33, followed by Pennsylvania at 46.21 and Texas at 42.93. Wisconsin was fifth with a score of 40.96. The best state was Hawaii at 15.86.

Ticks can transmit at least 17 diseases to humans, but over 80 percent of diagnosed tick-borne illnesses in the U.S. are attributable to Lyme disease, according to Pest Gnome, which reported that experts estimate nearly 476,000 people nationwide are diagnosed with or treated for Lyme disease each year.

Ticks are often present in tall grass, brush and wooded areas, according to the East Bay Regional Park District. In California, the western black-legged tick is the main carrier of Lyme disease, according to the district, which added that the female is reddish brown and the male is smaller and dark brown, but both are teardrop shaped.To protect against ticks, according to the district, people should:

  • Wear long pants and sleeves as well as closed-toe shoes;
  • Tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks;
  • Use insect repellent on shoes, socks and pants;
  • Check themselves and their children and pets for ticks;
  • Keep children and pets nearby;
  • Stay on trails.

If bitten by a tick, according to the district, it’s best to:

  • Use a tissue or tweezers to pull the tick from the skin;
  • Use a credit card to scrape away any remaining mouthparts;
  • Wash your hands and the bite with soap and water, then apply antiseptic to the bite;
  • See a doctor immediately if the tick is found attached and you experience a rash, fever, aches or fatigue.

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