Tick season is upon us, but the risk of contracting a tick-borne disease differs depending on where you live in the United States. Roughly 1 in 1,000 people living in Maine are diagnosed with Lyme Disease each year. Not even 1 in 100,000 come down with the disease in Hawaii. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that your family is fairly safe in some parts of the country (Hawaii, Louisiana, New Mexico) and at real risk in others (Vermont, Maine).
Tick-borne illnesses rarely kill anyone, but they certainly cause their share of problems for kids who wander into wooded areas each summer season. Lyme Disease, one of the most common tick-borne illnesses, can cause fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash. If left untreated, it can spread to the heart and the nervous system, occasionally resulting in death.
You can prevent Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses by using insect repellent, checking for ticks and removing them promptly, applying pesticides, and removing underbrush from your property. But knowing your level of risk is a good start.
If you live in Hawaii or New Mexico, Lyme Disease probably shouldn’t be among your greatest concerns. If you live in Pennsylvania or the New England states, however, we strongly suggest you double down on that repellent.