SEVERE WX : Lake Effect Snow Warning - Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Look Out For Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a serious and growing problem that affects thousands every year.

There are 30,000 cases of Lyme disease reported annually in the United States. Out of those growing cases, about 3,500 were cases of Lyme disease that were confirmed in New York. The number of cases is likely higher. Officials believe that only a fraction of illnesses are reported.

Lyme disease can affect your body if you’re bitten by an infected tick. Typically, symptoms of Lyme disease are fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic “bulls-eye” skin rash. Lyme disease is very treatable with antibiotics if caught early, but if left untreated the infection can spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system. Most cases of Lyme disease are missed due to the fact that ticks are very small and not easily detected.

Tips for avoiding ticks and preventing Lyme disease

  • Cover up with long sleeves and pants when you’re in the woods or in areas with high grass to avoid ticks clinging to your skin.
  • Use insect repellent on skin and clothing.
  • Check your pets – ticks can be carried into your yard or home by your pets.
  • Quickly remove any ticks you find.

It is important to check for ticks after outdoor activities because if caught early, Lyme disease is very treatable with antibiotics. If left is not caught and left untreated, Lyme disease infection can spread to the joints, heart and nervous system.

How to find and safely remove ticks:

  • Take a bath or shower soon after coming indoors to help wash off the tick or find the little insect.
  • Check yourself and your loved ones for ticks. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror. Check for ticks under your kid’s arms, around and in their ears, inside their belly button, behind their knees, between their legs, around the waist and in their hair.

If a tick is found on your skin it is important to remove it as soon as you can and not wait for it to fall off itself.

 To remove ticks:

  • Grab the tick with a fine-tipped tweezer. Try to get as close to the surface of the skin as you can get.
  • Pull upward. Use steady, even pressure. If the mouth of the tick breaks off and stays in your skin, try to remove that part with tweezers.
  • Clean your hands and the area of the tick bite with rubbing alcohol, iodine scrub or soap and water. Then kill it! Submerge the tick in alcohol, seal it in a bag or container, wrap it tightly in tape or flush it down the toilet. Do not throw it back outside.