Hand washing is extremely important and effective in preventing the spread of germs and diseases from one vector to another. This is incredibly important when exposed to an infected animal or animal bodily fluids. Teach people exposed to animals to wash their hands even though they were not touching the animals. Ideally, handwashing should be done with clean running water and soap. If clean running water is not available, soap and any available water should be used, otherwise, consider using alcohol-based sanitizers, which contain at least 60% alcohol. However, note that alcohol-based sanitizers do not kill all germs, so hand washing should be performed as soon as soap and water become available.2
Prevent animal bites and bites from other vectors such as ticks or insects, including mosquitoes and fleas. This may mean dressing in the appropriate clothing while going on hikes or while caring for animals. To that extent appropriate, protective apparel such as gloves and boots may be required necessary when interacting with or caring for animals. This is very important for people working in animal shelters or zoos.
There are certain occupations that are at increased risk of tick-borne diseases. These include roofers, construction workers, laborers, mechanics, farmers, field workers, park workers, or landscapers. Typically, ticks are more active in the summer months.3
Suspicion for tick-borne diseases is based on two main factors; presenting symptoms and a history of possible exposure to ticks.
Common interventions that could help prevent tick-borne diseases include wearing long sleeve clothing, long pants tucked in boots or socks, wearing light-colored clothing, and wearing insect repellant spray.3
Any patient who experiences exposure to ticks or a tick bite should take a shower as soon as possible using soap and water.