Protect Yourself Against Lyme Disease

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If you've ever had, or known someone who had Lyme disease, you know it's no picnic.

State senators passed eight bills Wednesday to address the education, prevention and treatment of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Here's what you need to know.

"We had this as the new disease for the physicians, so that went out in a letter just last month for the physicians", said Rusk "And we mentioned Powassan as well, but the risk for that is substantially lower".

"Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses are a major threat to the health and wellbeing of New Yorkers, and we are taking aggressive actions to help stop the spread of these diseases", Cuomo said.

Spraying your skin and clothing with bug spray containing DEET is highly recommended, as is wearing long trousers tucked into socks, and long sleeves.

Warmer weather means more time outdoors and Appanoose County Public Health along with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reminds Iowans to protect themselves against tick bites. The areas at greatest risk appear to be Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, but westerners should definitely not be complacent about the risk.

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Intrieri says, "these ticks are small. you may not even know that you were bit by the tick".

Female blacklegged ticks in various stages of feeding.

Ticks can be harmful to animals too. Though they can not jump or fly, they attach by waiting with rear legs attached to branches or tall grass and grabbing hold of an unlucky human with their front legs (called "questing"). "If left undiagnosed and untreated that can progress in a more serious disease what we call the chronic form where it can lead into organ disease such as kidney disease". Take a hot shower with soap as soon as possible afterwards.

That is why Toronto Public Health is reminding people of certain things they can do to avoid getting tick bites.

The CDC notes there is no need to panic if you find a tick attached to your child. After removing the tick, clean the spot with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. The tick can be placed in a sealed container or bag, flushed down the toilet, or dropped in alcohol. "You may unknowingly be going in an area that has high rates of Lyme disease and if your pet is unprotected, they stand a very high likelihood of developing lime disease".

Do not try to burn the tick off, smother it with Vaseline or pull it off with your fingers. Never crush a tick with your fingers.

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