Advice to Prevent Rickettsia

The Rickettsia diseases are mainly spread by the bite of infected arthropod vectors such as ticks, mites, lice and fleas. Rickettsia diseases cover a range of human systemic infections regularly indicated by fever and rash. Rickettsia diseases are mainly outdoor infections.

Prevention

Hidoc recommends a few steps to keep Rickettsia at bay.

  1. Wear long-sleeved protective clothing of light color and a broad hat to reduce the risk of disease that spread when one comes in contact with ticks, mites, lice, and fleas.
  2. Avoid densely vegetated areas and high-risk places such as backyards.
  3. Avoid touching street dogs, rodents, and livestock. Preventive actions such as ticks/fleas’ repellent should be used by the people who own pets.
  4. Apply insect repellents such as Meta-N, toluamide, and DEET on skin and clothing at regular gaps. Moreover, tuck the pants inside the socks to minimize the area of exposed skin.
  5. Check for vector attachment or sign of an insect bite when visiting animal areas
  6. Shower in thick foam and wash clothes to remove mites after visiting the high-risk areas such as backyards.
  7. Always wash hands after dealing with dogs and removing ticks from dogs.
  8. Regularly clean places such as backyards and campsites.
  9. Cut grass close to the ground due to which ticks and mites will be less survivable.
  10. Avoid sitting, lying, and placing personal belongings on grass.

If bitten, it is important to apply appropriate wound care such as wash the skin with warm water and apply some petroleum jelly and avoid scratching the wounded area. Moreover, Rickettsia is spread after a long time to the human bloodstream after tick bites.

It is vital to remove the tick attached to the skin with a pair of forceps without twisting, crushing or breaking its mouthparts (See here). Once the tick is removed wash hands instantly.

Overall, no vaccine is available to prevent Rickettsia. Therefore, control policies should target at prevention through raising public awareness, improving early disease detection, and the mitigating the possible risk factors.