Epidemiologist Ann Garvey says the rains and warm weather have made a bad situation worse and anyone who’s outdoors for any longer than a few minutes needs to take the proper precautions.
“We are hearing a lot anecdotally about nuisance mosquito activity and if you wear that insect repellent like a DEET product, that would be effective against mosquitoes and against the ticks — which we know are out and about this time of year as well,” Garvey says.
During the daytime, you’ll likely need sunscreen along with the bug repellent. Garvey says the use of both often leads to a question:
“Sometimes people will ask, ‘Do we put the sunscreen on first or the insect repellent?’ The recommendation is to put the sunscreen on first and the insect repellent over the top,” according to Garvey. “You’ll often have to reapply the sunscreen more often than you will the insect repellent, so it’s important to read the labels and reapply as directed.”
While mosquitoes can carry a host of diseases, the deer tick can transmit Lyme disease — and many other maladies.
“The other two most common ticks are the American dog tick and that can transmit illnesses like Rocky Mountain spotted fever or tularemia,” Garvey explains, “and the Lone Star tick can transmit tularemia and erlichiosis. So while we talk a lot about the deer tick or the black legged tick, there are other types of ticks that can cause other types of illnesses.”
Some cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.