Officials with San Diego County announced Tuesday that several ticks collected in routine trapping from Lopez Canyon trail in Sorrento Valley have tested positive for tularemia.

Amblyomma americanum image/ CDC
Amblyomma americanum image/ CDC

Officials from the County’s Vector Control program urged people to protect themselves and their pets from ticks when hiking or walking in grassy, backcountry areas, on trails and in the wild. The best way to start, officials said, is by wearing insect repellent, proper clothing, and to use insect control products that kills fleas and ticks on pets.

Vector Control officials said they have been finding increased numbers of ticks this year around the county, although the ones collected in Sorrento Valley were the only ones that have tested positive for any disease.

Even though tick diseases are rare in San Diego County, they have also been known to carry other diseases including Lyme disease and spotted fever illnesses.  Tularemia can be successfully treated with antibiotics, but can be dangerous and even fatal.

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County public health officials said anyone who is bitten by a tick should not panic, but carefully remove it. They said if a person develops a rash or fever within several weeks of being bitten they should see a doctor, tell them about the tick bite, when they were bitten and where they think it happened.


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