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A Fatal Tick-Borne Disease is Now Spreading in Western Europe

A scary tick-borne disease has been spotted spreading locally in western Europe for the first time. The disease is called Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) and can kill up to 30% of people infected. As reported by Science Alert, "So far in the current outbreak, only two people have been infected - one fatally - in Spain, but the European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is now warning travellers and hikers, as well as healthcare and agricultural workers, to avoid contact with ticks and potentially infected animals across western Europe."

PREVENTION 101: In America, one of the biggest reasons to avoid ticks is to stay safe from the dangers of Lyme disease. Some helpful tips to keep you tick free include:

  • Avoid tick-infested areas, such as leaf piles around trees. Walk in the middle of trails, and avoid brushing against long grasses path edgings. Don’t sit on logs or wooden stumps.
  • Wear light-colored long pants and long sleeves, to make it easier to see the ticks.
  • Tuck your pants into socks, and wear closed shoes and a hat — especially if venturing out into wooded areas. Also tuck your shirt into your pants.
  • Ticks, especially nymphal ticks, are very tiny, so do a thorough tick check upon returning inside, and keep checking for several days following exposure. Also check your bedding for several days following exposure.
  • If you have Japanese barberry on your property, you may want to consider getting rid of it.
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