According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS):
- Cases of Lyme disease in Michigan jumped from 451 in 2020, to 878 in 2021.
- Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease.
- Cases of Anaplasmosis increased from 17 confirmed cases in 2020, to 56 cases in 2021.
- Anaplasmosis is the second most common tick-borne disease.
- Benzie, Dickinson, Manistee, and Menominee counties saw the largest increase of Anaplasmosis.
Taking Precautions to Avoid Ticks and Tick-borne Disease
- Avoid tick-infested areas
- Because ticks live in grassy, brushy wooded areas, walk in the center of trails to avoid contact with overgrown grass, brush, and leaf litter at trail edges.
- Dogs and cats can encounter ticks outdoors and bring them into the home. Talk with your veterinarian about the best tick prevention products for your pet.
- Use insect repellent
- Apply repellent containing DEET or Picaridin on exposed skin.
- Treat clothes (especially pants, socks, and shoes) with permethrin, which kills ticks on contact or buy clothes that are pre-treated. Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying repellents.
- Perform daily tick checks
- Always check for ticks on yourself and your animals after being outdoors, even in your own yard.
- Inspect all body surfaces carefully and remove attached ticks with tweezers.
- To remove a tick, grasp the tick firmly and as closely to the skin as possible. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin. Cleanse the area with an antiseptic.
- Bathe or shower
- Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.
- Wash clothing in hot water and dry on high heat to help kill ticks in clothing.
If you do find a tick attached, be sure to remove it right away. Continue to monitor yourself or your loved ones for symptoms such as:
- Joint aches