Ticks and mosquitoes may await the pandemic-weary seeking outdoor exercise
Pandemic-weary Americans have begun walking and hiking in recent months to get out of the house while avoiding infection with the novel coronavirus. At the same time, resource-strapped local health departments have been forced to divert money and people to covid-related activities, unwillingly creating openings for outside exercisers to get sick in other ways.
Although woods and trails provide some distance from people, they are home to other dangers — such as ticks that carry bacteria-causing Lyme disease or mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus — especially now, when bugs are proliferating. These and other insects can pass along potentially serious diseases with a single bite.
Health departments have been spending their budgets and deploying personnel on covid-19 efforts, which hurts their ability to focus on programs that control mosquitoes and ticks, says Chelsea Gridley-Smith, director of environmental health for the National Association of County and City Health Officials.
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Sawyer Insect Repellent is a versatile picaridin spray recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as safe and effective for most people. Our testers liked the evaporating smell and how the spray feels once it dries.
Insects and arachnids that bite in self-defense instead of to feed -- such as yellow jackets, bees, wasps, hornets, certain ants or spiders -- cannot be repelled with insect repellents.
The number of bug-borne diseases is increasing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the number of places they're spreading to is also on the rise.
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