Maryland Department Of Health Urges Marylanders To Guard Against Tick-Borne Diseases


With May being Tick-borne Disease Awareness Month, the Maryland Department of Health has launched a tick-borne disease prevention campaign encouraging Marylanders to take simple precautions to prevent illness caused by infected ticks in time for warmer weather and increased outdoor activity.

“We want Marylanders to explore the beautiful nature found in our great state,” said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Dr. Laura Herrera Scott. “But we want them to safeguard their health and be mindful of ticks and the diseases they spread.”

In an effort to reduce the spread of disease, the tick-borne disease prevention campaign will provide Marylanders with weekly tips on what to do before, during and after outdoor activities to prevent tick exposure and recognize the symptoms of tick-borne diseases.

Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne disease in Maryland. In 2022, more than 2,000 cases were reported in the state. Symptoms include rash, fever, headache, joint pain and fatigue. Lyme disease can spread to a person’s joints and nervous system if left untreated. Contact a health care provider or local health department if any of these symptoms develop. Most cases of Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics.

The best way to avoid tick-borne diseases is to avoid ticks and their habitat. Ticks prefer humid environments and can be found outdoors in leaf litter, weeds, tall grasses, shrubs and woods.

To prevent tick exposure and bites:

  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved insect repellents such as DEET, picaridin or IR3535

  • Wear light-colored clothing to help spot ticks more easily

  • Wear long pants and sleeves and tuck your pants into your socks or boots

  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin

  • Consider purchasing permethrin-treated clothing and gear

  • Stick to marked paths when hiking and avoid brushy areas and tall grass

  • Shower as soon as possible after returning indoors

  • Dry your clothes on high heat for 10 minutes once you get home to kill any ticks on clothing

  • Perform a tick check on yourself, children and pets after being outside in a tick habitat

  • Talk to your veterinarian about ways to protect your pets

While Lyme disease is the most prevalent tick-borne disease in Maryland, ticks can also transmit babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. Spring is the start of tick season, but Marylanders should continue to check for ticks after outdoor activities through the fall.

To learn more about tick-borne diseases and ways to protect family members and pets, visit


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