Jacobs Warns Against Increased Exposure to Lyme Disease During the Summer
With the warm days approaching and an increase in outdoor activities, Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) and the Nassau County Department of Health (NCDOH) reminds residents that they may be placing themselves at risk of exposure to Lyme disease.
“The summer months bring sunny skies, warm weather, and an array of outdoor activities to pursue,” Jacobs said. “But the beautiful weather does not come without its inherent dangers. I strongly encourage everyone to follow a few, simple precautions to ensure that they enjoy a happy and healthy summer.”
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can causes arthritic, heart and nervous system problems. It is transmitted through the bite of infected deer ticks which are active from May to November. An early symptom of the disease may be a discrete circular or oval rash that may develop between three and 30 days after the tick bite and continues to expand or spread. In some cases, no rash appears, while in other cases, there are multiple rashes.
Other early symptoms include fatigue, chills and fever, headache, muscle and joint pains and swollen lymph nodes. Because Lyme disease is often difficult to diagnose, and often produces variable symptoms, it is important to consult your doctor as soon as possible.
To help prevent Lyme and other tick-related illnesses, try to stay out of tick-infested areas such as wooded areas and adjacent grasslands, high grass, dense shrubbery and areas adjacent to salt marshes. If one does go into tick areas:
- Wear light colored clothing with long sleeves and long pants tucked into socks or boots
- Use repellants as appropriate, following directions on the label
- Do not allow children to apply repellant themselves
- Check for ticks on clothing and pets
- After returning home, remember to conduct full-body checks for ticks
If you do find a tick attached to your body, do not remove it by using petroleum jelly, kerosene, lighted cigarettes or other home remedies. Remove it by doing the following:
- Using tweezers, grasp the tick near its mouthparts, as close as possible to the skin
- Be careful not to squeeze, crush or puncture the body of the tick
- Pull the tick in a steady upward motion away from the skin
- After removing the tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite with soap, rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide
For additional information on identifying ticks and preventing tick-borne diseases, or to obtain a copy of a bulletin on Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, visit the NCDOH Web site at www.nassaucountyny.gov/health, or contact the NCDOH at 571-2006.