Posted by Frank Gagnier
Epidemiology and Prevention of Common Tickborne Diseases in the United States

Kim Geib




Emily Cason


Kim Geib and Emily Cason, from the Florida Department of Health in Nassau County, presented an update on tickborne illness prevalence data in the US, including how to remove a tick properly, when to seek medical care following a suspected tick exposure, and how to avoid tick bites.


Ticks are expanding in all geographic regions in the US, and the numbers of tickborne illness are increasing, including in Florida. Persons should seek medical advice if they have been exposed to a tick within the past 30 days and develop any of the following: rash, fever, body or muscle aches (flu like symptoms).


The best way to prevent tick bites is to:

Apply repellent (the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises containing 20% DEET or other EPA approved tick repellent),

If hiking, avoid tall grasses (tick habitat) by walking in the center of the trail

Shower soon after being outdoors and check your body and your child’s body for ticks

Regularly check your pets and your clothing for ticks to prevent tick infestations around your home


Tick Basics:

Most ticks go through four life stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult

Must eat blood at every stage to survive, can take up to three years for full life cycle

Most die because they don’t find a host

Ticks find hosts by detecting breath, body odors, heat, etc. and wait for a host on well-used paths

Cannot fly or jump, but wait for a host in a position known as “questing”



Tickborne Disease Basics

All known tickborne infectious diseases are diseases of animals that can be transmitted to humans via a tick vector

Ticks can maintain the pathogens through transmission to their offspring

Ticks can acquire infection through feeding on infectious hosts

Humans are incidental hosts, infected by the bite of infected ticks

Typically takes 24-48 hours of tick attachment to spread most diseases

Common symptoms of tickborne disease include fever/chills, aches and pains, and rash


There was so much information it would take pages and pages to post all of it.

If you want or need anymore information, please see below.

We thank Kim and Emily for their time and putting on a professional presentation.



For more information, contact:


Emily Cason, MPH





Director, Disease Control & School Health Services



Thanks to the co-sponsor, Chris Geib, Sunsect sales/marketing VP, who donated samples of Sunsect, a combination sunscreen and DEET-containing product to prevent mosquito and tick bites.