Learn how to protect yourself from ticks
Babe Winkelman is the only outdoorsman to be inducted into the Sports Legends Hall of Fame. Winkelman is well-known for his 40-plus year career on television, promoting fishing and hunting, as well as writing a nationally syndicated column of fishing, hunting and conservation that is read by millions.
But lately, Winkelman is on a crusade to teach everyone about something else – the dangers of tick-borne illnesses and how to prevent them. Black-legged (deer) ticks are now known as the primary vector to transmit
Lyme disease to humans (as well as dogs). Other tick-borne diseases are becoming more common and can be transmitted by other tick species including the more common dog tick.
Tick season starts now. As soon as the snow begins to melt, ticks will become active, and local dog owners are already reporting finding black-legged ticks on their pets.
Black-legged ticks are tiny, and often find their way inside a home on dog fur. So even if you aren’t active in the outdoors, if you have a dog, you are at risk.
Winkelman was scheduled to come to Tower this week to give a free presentation on preventing and identifying tick-borne illness. He was invited by the local Lyme disease support group. The talk was canceled, due to
COVID-19, but hopefully will be rescheduled at a later date.
Lyme disease is something that Winkelman is personally passionate about. Both he and three of his daughters have been affected, and some have had life-altering effects from the disease.
Winkelman said he was one of the first people to warn of the dangers of Lyme after contracting it for the first time in the late 1980s. At that time he was a spokesperson for Estes Johnson, the makers of Deep Woods Off
“It just bounced off everyone’s head,” he said, “at that time people thought ticks were just a damn nuisance.”
In a quest to find answers to his own health issues, Winkelman worked with doctors from across the country.
“I wanted to find the truth,” he said. “I feel like I got a college education in about two months learning about Lyme disease and its symptoms.”
Today, much more is known about Lyme and other tick-related diseases.
Winkelman said that prevention is the first line of defense.
Read the full article by Jodi Summit on Timberjay's website here.
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