With temperatures heating up and summer rapidly approaching, health officials are warning residents to be aware of ticks and the diseases they may carry.
According to officials, “ticks can spread disease. Not all ticks can cause disease and not all bites will make you sick, but as these diseases become more common it's important to learn how to prevent a bite, how to remove a tick and what to do if you think you could have a tick-borne disease.
“Lyme disease is the most common disease spread by ticks in New York but there are other serious diseases spread by ticks. And like Lyme, the other diseases will begin to spread to other regions across the state.”
Officials said that ticks live in shady, moist areas near ground level, clinging to grass, brush or shrubs less than two feet off the ground. They also exist in lawns and gardens near the edges of wooded area or old stone walls. Once a tick gets on the skin, it is inclined to climb upward until it reaches a protected area.
In tick-infested areas, the best protection is to avoid contact with soil, leaf litter and vegetation. However, if one gardens, hikes, camps, hunts, works or otherwise spends time in the outdoors, health officials have issued a series of tips:
- Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily;
- Wear enclosed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants;
- Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors;
- Consider using insect repellent;
- Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails. Walk in the center of trails. Avoid dense woods and bushy areas;
- Avoid sitting directly on the ground or on stone walls;
- Keep long hair tied back, especially when gardening;
- Bathe or shower as soon as possible after going indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that may be on you;
- Do a final, full-body tick check at the end of the day (also check children and pets), and remove ticks promptly.
For tips on how to remove ticks, view the video above.
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