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Ticks causing uptick in illness in Door County

A tick-borne illness is starting to creep up in numbers in Door County. Tick season is heating up in Wisconsin, and as a result, six cases of anaplasmosis have appeared so far in Door County this year. In the previous five years, there’s been an average of less than one case per year in Door County according to a Door County Public Health press release. Anaplasmosis and Lyme disease are the most common tick-borne diseases in the area, and you can get both from a deer tick bite. 


There is no clear cause in the rise in cases, but Door County Public Health is working with a state epidemiologist who specializes in tick-borne illnesses to try and identify one. The six cases detected to this point are all in adults. Populations for deer ticks often peak in June in Wisconsin, but the diseases they spread can continue into fall months. Anaplasmosis symptoms include fever, chills, severe headache, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting. It is typically treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated, it can develop into respiratory failure, bleeding problems, organ failure, or death. 


You’re encouraged to be aware of ticks and prevent illnesses spread by ticks by:


  • Quickly removing any ticks. It is suggested you use tweezers and pull upward. The tick must be attached for 12-24 hours before transmitting bacteria. 
  • Using effective insect repellent.
  • Wearing long sleeves, long pants, and long socks to keep ticks on the outside of clothes
  • And if you go into a wooded area, stay in the center of a cleared trail and avoid contact with overgrown grass and brush.

Symptoms may begin up to 30 days after exposure, and if you experience symptoms you’re encouraged to see a doctor. 


(Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services) 

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