Can You Spot the Ticks? CDC Shares Infamous Photo of Poppy Seed Muffin Again

May 31, 2019 Updated: May 31, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) infamous poppy seed muffin photo is once again circulating on social media after the federal agency re-posted it to warn people as the weather becomes warmer about the dangers of tick bites.

The CDC first posted the photo last year, asking people whether they were able to spot the little critters embedded on the muffin. The post generated a lot of attention with people both criticizing and thanking the agency for raising awareness about the dangers of ticks. As a result, the CDC even apologized for ruining people’s appetites.

“Sorry we ticked some of you off! Don’t let a tick bite ruin your summer. Protect yourself,” they wrote around same time last year.

Following its fairly successful public awareness stunt last year, the photo was again posted to social media on May 29, and people are reacting to it the same way.

“Ticks can be as small as a poppy seed. There are 5 ticks in this photo. Can you spot them? Learn how to prevent tick bites and protect yourself,” the CDC wrote.

One person wrote, “My love for lemon poppy seed muffins has suddenly vanished. Thanks, CDC.”

“I don’t like many sweets but I LOVE lemon poppyseed muffins. How dare you,” another person wrote.

“The poppy seed muffin I bought for breakfast is headed straight to the trash can. Thanks CDC,” someone else wrote.

Another user jokingly called out the CDC for posting the photo again, despite apologizing for it last year.

“So you apologized for this last year and then did it again. You’re as bad as my ex-boyfriend,” a person wrote.

Other people have expressed gratitude for the warning.

“What a great visual aid. Love it!” one person wrote.

“Now I’ll be inspecting my favorite muffin before I eat them,” another person wrote.

The agency said ticks are most active from April to September when the weather is warmer. They have provided some important tips to help people avoid being bitten by ticks, including treating clothing and gear with permethrin, using insect repellent, and avoiding walks in wooded and brushy areas.

They also advise that people should check their clothing for ticks after returning indoors as well as to examine gear and pets, shower soon after being outdoors, and check parts of the body for ticks including: under the arms, in and around the ears, inside belly button, back of the knees, in and around the hair, between the legs, and around the waist.

A tick bite can cause Lyme disease, with symptoms of fever, headache, fatigue, and a skin rash called erythema migrans, according to the CDC. The agency said that if untreated the disease could infection spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.

There was a record number of 59,349 cases of tickborne diseases reported to the CDC by state and local health departments in 2017, which was around 10,000 cases more than in 2016.

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