Most of us don’t give much thought to the occasional mosquito, flea or tick bite. With temperatures on the rise, it’s common to spend more time outdoors enjoying nature. It’s important to take precautions before hitting the trail, however, as some of those bites aren’t just dangerous—they are potentially life-threatening.
In a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of tick- and mosquito-borne diseases are on the rise. From 2004 to 2016, the number of tick-borne disease cases grew from 22,527 to 48,610. During that same period, the number of cases of mosquito-borne diseases jumped from 4,858 to 47,461. Nine of the 16 diseases included in the study are relatively new, having just been identified since 2004. And scientists believe it’s going to get worse, with tick habitats expected to include must of the eastern half of the U.S. by 2080.
Symptoms of tick-borne illness often look like the flu or other sicknesses, so unless a doctor asks about a tick bite, you might not receive the right treatment. Bites can lead to meningitis, sepsis, Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Zika virus, Lyme disease and erlichiosis, a bacterial infection—just to name a few. Symptoms can range from high fevers, rashes and severe headaches—and can take months to recover from, cause debilitating side effects or even death.
The next time your plans include some outdoors time, be sure to take necessary precautions to prevent an unwelcome bite. Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt that is tucked in. If you are wearing boots, tuck your pants into them to keep bugs from creeping up your belly or legs. Spraying yourself with an insect repellent that includes DEET or another chemical approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also helps. Finally, check yourself from head to toe after you come in to remove any unwanted critters.
Insurers often deny coverage for long-term disability after someone has been diagnosed with one of these debilitating diseases. If you have been diagnosed with an insect-borne illness and have been denied your long-term care benefits from companies such as Unum, Hartford or Cigna, the attorneys at Burke Harvey can help. Contact us today for a review of your case and stay safe this summer.