Diseases spread by ticks are an increasing concern in Ohio and are being reported to the Ohio Department of Health more frequently in the past decade, with
Lyme disease and
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) being the most common.
Other tickborne diseases such as
ehrlichiosis are also on the rise. Though rare, diseases such
southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI) and
Powassan virus may also be carried by Ohio ticks.
There are about a dozen species of ticks that have been identified in Ohio. However,
most species are associated with wild animals and are rarely
encountered by people.Three species, the American dog tick, the
blacklegged tick and the lone star tick, are among the most likely
ticks to be encountered by people or pets. All three of these
species are of significant public health importance and are
responsible for nearly all reported tickborne diseases. Find out
more about these types of ticks
The best way to prevent tickborne diseases is to prevent tick bites. In Ohio, tickborne illnesses are
most often transmitted between early spring and late fall since ticks are most active during warm months. Take action to decrease your risk of infection: protect against tick bites, check for ticks, remove ticks as soon as you can, and watch for symptoms.
Lyme disease is caused by an infection with a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi.
In Ohio, B. burgdorferi is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected
blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis.
Lyme disease cases are increasing in Ohio as the range of
blacklegged tick populations continues to expand in the state and
encounters with this tick occur more frequently, particularly in
the forest habitats preferred by this tick.