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One death reported in Oklahoma after tick bite

EDMOND, Okla. – As the weather changes, more pests are lurking, including those nasty ticks.

This year, there is a new deadly disease spread by ticks.

One death has already been reported in Oklahoma.

It’s called the Heartland Virus.

Ann Chambers says she grew up in the country around the blood sucking insects.

“I really hate ticks,” said Chambers. “They were just thick out there. There was four of us siblings, and my mom went over us every night.”

Double checking that could save your life or the lives of loved ones.

The Oklahoma State Health Department has reported the state’s first case and death from the Heartland virus.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors like gardening or around tall grass, you can wear long sleeves or long pants to protect your skin, but when you go inside, always check yourself for ticks.

Bryan Christensen with A Plus Pest Control in Edmond says he has been busy with calls.

Customers have asked about how to protect their homes and yards from ticks.

Christensen said, “One thing people can do is make sure to keep their lawns mowed. If the grass is short, it’s not going to be a good environment for ticks to live.”

Residents can also call a pest control company to treat and spray around the home to keep ticks and fleas away.

Don’t forget to spray yourself with bug repellant. Products that use the ingredient called DEET are your best protection.

Also don’t forget to check your pets for ticks.

The most important thing is to know the risks of tick-borne diseases.

Since the Heartland Virus has been newly identified in Oklahoma, there is no routine testing available for the virus.

The Health Department said there are protocols in place for investigational diagnostic testing.

For more information about tick prevention and tick-borne illnesses, visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health website.