Simple Prevention Saves Lives When It Comes to Ticks

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This week, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) released reports of a possible case of Bourbon virus that is believed to be transmitted by a tick. Given this report, as well as the recent discovery of several other new diseases that can be spread by ticks, and predictions that the number of ticks in Missouri this summer will be higher than usual, the Jefferson County Health Department would like to remind everyone of the importance of safe and effective tick and mosquito protection. This can be as simple as taking two minutes to make sure:

1.      You are wearing clothing that will protect you from being bitten.

      ·        Choose long sleeves and long pants when spending time outdoors, weather permitting.

      ·        Wear light colored clothing to help you spot ticks faster!

2.      Apply insect repellent to any exposed skin.

      ·        Look for products that contain at least 20% DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 to keep ticks away.

      ·        Choose a product that lasts several hours whenever you spend time outdoors. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age.

      ·        If you are also using sunscreen, apply it first, let it dry, and then apply repellent. Products that contain both sunscreen and repellent are not recommended

      ·        And always read the label directions carefully!

3.      Check your clothing and skin for ticks frequently, even while you are outside.

      ·        After returning inside, shower as soon as possible and check all parts of the body carefully.

      ·        Having a partner or parent check hard to see or private areas is encouraged. However, self-checks can be conducted safely and thoroughly using a mirror in a well-lit area.  

      ·        Remove attached ticks as soon as possible!

      ·        This should be done by using tweezers or a tick removal tool to grip the tick as close to the skin as possible and pulling directly up and away from the skin.

      ·        Other methods of tick removal designed to make the tick detach on its own such as covering it in nail polish or burning the back of the tick with a match can increase the risk of disease transmission and should NOT be used. 

4.      For more information about ticks, visit

However, if you or a loved one is bitten by a tick it is important to report any symptom associated with a tick transmitted disease to a medical professional as early as possible. Often, the symptoms of tick transmitted disease are first noticed two to three weeks after being bitten and including sudden fever, body aches, and headache. If you have any of these symptoms after being bitten by a tick or mosquito, or even being in an area where you could have been, it is important to let your healthcare provider know that you may be at risk for tick transmitted disease. For more information about tick transmitted diseases visit:

For health related question, call (636) 797-3737 ext-137 to speak with JCHD Communicable Disease Specialist, or ext-215 to speak with a JCHD Epidemiologist.


Possible Measles Exposure in the Kansas City, Missouri Area

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is working with the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department to notify individuals who may have been exposed to measles in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  Known locations where exposures may have occurred include the following:

Date                 Location Name                      Exposure Timeframe                 Location Address

April 6, 2018   KCI Expo Center                     8:30 AM - 1:00 PM          11730 NW Ambassador Dr. 

                                                                                                                Kansas City, MO

April 10, 2018  Nebraska Furniture Market    9:30 AM - 2:00 PM         1601 Village West Pkwy

                                                                                                                 Kansas City KS

Note:  Locations where individuals may have been exposed to measles, but can be identified, are not listed.  Those individuals will be notified separately.

Measles is a highly contagious, acute viral illness that is transmitted by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing. Patients are considered to be contagious from four days before until four days after the rash appears. The measles virus can remain infectious in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves an area. Measles is vaccine-preventable disease. You can check with your health care provider to make sure you and your family are up-to-date on vaccines.

The symptoms of measles generally include a rash that appears 7-21 days after exposure. Measles typically begins with:

o   A high fever

o   Cough

o   Runny nose

o   Red, watery eyes

Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash starts to appear. The rash usually looks like flat red spots that break out first on the face and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs and feet.

People who may have been exposed to measles should contact their health care provider if they develop cold-like symptoms with a fever and/or rash as described above. If you may have been exposed to measles and you have symptoms, you should NOT go to any health care facility without calling first. This will help the health care facility prepare for your arrival and allow the facility to provide instructions to you to reduce possible exposures to others at the facility.

Director of DHSS, Dr. Randall Williams, says, “If someone has measles, it is important they stay isolated from others to keep from spreading it. Measles is extremely contagious, and you can have very severe outcomes. For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it. If you are diagnosed with measles, it is important to follow the instructions of your health care provider and public health officials to protect your family and community.”

Health care providers should isolate suspected measles case-patients and immediately report suspected cases to the local public health agency or to DHSS at 573/751-6113 or 800/392-0272 outside normal business hours. For more information about measles go to

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at