In this area, ticks are especially prevalent from April to September, but residents should remember that tick bites can happen anytime of the year. Ticks hibernate during the winter months and look for a host to latch onto when temperatures rise. To prevent contact with ticks and avoid tick-borne illnesses, Ipswich Public Health recommends the following tips provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
West Nile Virus infections can cause fever, headache and body aches, with a skin rash and swollen lymph glands. A small number of people who are infected can develop a more serious illness, which can cause headaches, high fever, stiff neck, confusion, muscle weakness, tremors, convulsions, coma, paralysis, swelling of the brain and even death.
Symptoms of EEE include high fever, stiff neck, headache, and lack of energy. Encephalitis, the swelling of the brain, is the most dangerous complication of EEE and can cause coma and death. Residents should see their doctor if they develop any symptoms of West Nile Virus or EEE.
Ipswich Public Health encourages residents to follow these tips provided by Massachusetts Department of Public Health:
Use insect repellent with DEET any time you are outdoors. Be sure to follow the application directions on the label.
Be aware of peak mosquito hours, which are generally from dusk to dawn. Wear protective clothing when outdoors during peak mosquito hours such as long sleeves, long pants, high socks, hats with netting to cover the face, and any other clothing that will cover exposed skin.
Use mosquito netting around baby carriages or child playpens when your baby is outdoors.
Make sure screens are repaired and are tightly attached to doors and windows.
Remove standing water from places such as puddles, ditches, birdbaths and gutters, which are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Residents can check community risk levels for West Nile Virus and EEE Virus throughout the season by visiting our interactive site https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-arbovirus-update