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    NEWS RELEASE                                                                   
    CONTACT:  TERRY KENT, (440) 350-2436
    LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT

     

    April 30, 2015

    DON’T LET THAT TICK MAKE YOU SICK: 

    IT’S LYME DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH 

    May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and Lake County General Health District is encouraging all residents to take action to prevent Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is a sickness caused by the bite of a blacklegged or deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) that carries the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium.

    In the United States over the last few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of reported cases of Lyme disease.  Lyme disease is common in the Northeastern and upper Midwestern United States.  Ohio is located between these two areas.  Since 2010, the number of blacklegged ticks in Ohio have increased particularly in wooded areas.   

    Typical symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, headache, tiredness and a characteristic “bull’s-eye” skin rash.  If left untreated, infection can spread to the joints, heart and nervous system, causing long-term medical problems.  Your healthcare provider will tell you if you have Lyme disease based on symptoms, and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks.  A blood test may also be taken.  Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics, but there is no vaccine for Lyme disease.  Dogs can also get Lyme disease.  Humans cannot get Lyme disease from dogs; but dogs can carry ticks that have Lyme disease into the home.  A Lyme disease vaccine is available for dogs through your veterinarian.

    “There are several steps we can take to prevent Lyme Disease, as well as other diseases caused by the bites of ticks and mosquitoes,” commented Terry Kent, Environmental Health Supervisor at Lake County General Health District.  If you are going to be in a wooded or forested area, Kent suggests taking the following steps:

    ·         White or light clothing is recommended as it is easier to spot any ticks.  Shirts and T-shirts should be tucked into your pants and socks pulled up over the bottom of the pants.

    ·         Wear insect repellent on your bare skin or wear clothes that have repellent built-in. Make sure that the repellent you’re using contains 20% or more of the active ingredient (like DEET).

    ·         Help younger kids apply repellent and keep it away from eyes, mouth and hands.

    ·         Avoid taking short cuts through thick brush and grass.

    ·         Check for ticks at the end of each day before returning to your home. Pets should also be checked.

    ·         Take a shower.  It will help wash off the ticks you can’t see.

    ·         Remove any attached tick as soon as you notice it by grasping with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and pulling it straight out. 

    For more information on Lyme Disease, visit https://www.lcghd.org/Ticks or call Terry at (440) 350-2436. 

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