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Late spring weather delays end of tick season in Minnesota

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Although the peak of tick season in the state has passed, the Minnesota Department of Health has urged people to take precautions to prevent tick bites for the next several weeks, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

According to Department of Health epidemiologist Dave Neitzel, the advisory comes becomes the tick season got a late start because it took longer for the snow to melt. In turn, the slow arrival of spring weather pushed back the end of tick activity a few weeks later than usual.

Neitzel said for a while in May into early June, people "really noticed lots of ticks out and feeding because they were all kind of out at once." Still, he said, there are "still plenty of ticks out there feeding in the woods" and "if people are out in wooded or brushy parts of Minnesota this weekend, we recommend that they wear some good repellents."

Neitzel recommends using products containing permethrin, the same repellant used against mosquitoes.

See the state Department of Health's guide on tick-transmitted diseases here.

The department said last month that the cases of tick-borne diseases decreased markedly in 2012, but the decline "doesn't mean the risk of illness from tick bites in 2013 will be any less than in most previous years."

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