BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends people take precautions against ticks and the diseases they carry.
“The highest risk of tickborne disease transmission occurs between late spring and early fall,” said Amanda Bakken, an epidemiologist with the HHS Public Health Division. “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.”
HHS offers the following tips to help reduce the risk of tick bites:
The most common symptoms of tickborne diseases include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and joint pain. Early detection of tickborne diseases is important to prevent potentially severe complications. Individuals should seek medical care if they develop symptoms suggestive of a tickborne disease after spending time outdoors.
HHS is conducting tick surveillance again this year with the help of voluntary participants across the state. Ticks are submitted for identification and testing from April until November. This surveillance is important to help the HHS Public Health Division understand the types of ticks and tickborne diseases present in North Dakota. The public can also help by submitting pictures and location information about ticks they find by emailing NDTicks@nd.gov.
In 2022, most ticks collected were identified as American dog ticks, which can transmit tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Deer ticks, which can spread Lyme disease, babesiosis, Powassan virus, and other diseases, were submitted from one county. Additional information about tickborne diseases and the 2022 tick surveillance project can be found at hhs.nd.gov/health/diseases-conditions-and-immunization/tickborne.