LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Tick-borne diseases are on the rise, that’s why the CDC is monitoring the tick population nationwide for the first time ever.
Arkansas health officials said a study revealed the number of diseases have doubled in recent years and want to warn those who spend a lot of time outside.
"We go hiking,” said Chastity Standridge.
Standridge and her two girls spend most of their summers days outdoors, and she keeps the danger of tick bites on her mind for a good reason.
"I did have a friend whose parent got Lyme Disease,” said Standridge.
Arkansas Department of Health officials said the study performed in 2004-2016 a new tick of concern: the Asian Longhorned Tick.
"It's mostly livestock pests, but there's always the potential based on the fact that we know it transmits to human pathogens in different parts of the world,” said David Theuret, ADH Entomologist.
Arkansas is one of only 11 states in the U.S. where the Asian Longhorned Tick has been found.
Theuret said reports have found animals in North Carolina have already been impacted by the tick.
"Some cattle became anemic and died ultimately from infestation, said Theuret.
Though the Asian Longhorned Tick hasn’t caused complications to humans in Arkansas, health officials warn people like Standridge, it’s crucial to immediately check for ticks in all cracks and crevices of your body.
"There's been so many times I’ve inspected and then days later find a tick behind the ear and I freak out,” she said.
Theuret said the quicker you remove the tick, the less likely it will spread into the body.
"It can take 36 to 48 hours of the tick being attached to you and blood feeding to move from the ticks saliva glands into the person,” he said.
The health department said this latest report shouldn't make you afraid of going outside, because there are steps you can take to protect yourself from ticks.
Those include wearing proper clothing such as long sleeves and pants, and don’t forget to spray yourself down with Deet before heading outside.