Tick Encounters

Did you know that tick encounters have been steadily increasing in Missouri?

As the world’s climate changes, we can expect to see an increase in the number of disease-carrying mosquitoes, ticks, flies, fleas and lice coming into contact with humans. The number of reported tick encounters has been steadily increasing in Missouri over the last two decades, and the discovery of new diseases that present similarly to other tick-borne diseases has continued to grow.

We are gathering information to document and analyze the behaviors of ticks in our region. Learn more about how you can help.

Why It Matters

The Heartland virus was discovered in northeast Missouri in 2017. Diseases like Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Tularemia and Lyme disease have also been recorded in the state. Some of these diseases can be deadly if not treated early with the right antibiotic.

Testing and treatments for these diseases can be expensive and cost prohibitive for those in our communities facing financial hardship. To reduce the effects of undue financial and medical burden, we must identify and control the tick populations within the county.

While there is not currently a tick borne disease crisis, we should prepare ourselves with the limited resources we have now. Developing structures of surveillance, prevention and intervention may lessen the impacts of future outbreaks.