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County warns of ticks, Lyme disease



Published on Wednesday, May 30, 2018, 1:49 pm


The Midland County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) is encouraging Midland County residents to protect themselves from ticks this spring.

Tick-borne diseases, particularly Lyme borreliosis, are spreading throughout the state. Although ticks can spread several diseases, Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in Michigan. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted through the black-legged deer tick.

The black-legged tick is well established in the western upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. However, it is expanding into new areas on the lower peninsula. In 201

7, more than 300 cases of Lyme disease were reported, and in two out of three cases exposure was reported in Michigan. Ticks infected with Lyme disease have currently been identified in 34 of the 83 districts of Michigan. Information on Lyme Disease Risk by County is available at Michigan.gov/lyme.

The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to prevent ticks bites. If you find a tick on your body, remove it immediately. Monitor your health and if you have a fever, skin rash, muscle or joint pain or any other symptoms, consult your doctor. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported last week that mosquito, tick and flea-related diseases tripled in the United States from 2004 to 2016. The report also concludes that Lyme disease is a growing problem for Michigan. For the full report, visit the CDC website

For protection against Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, follow these tips:

• Avoid areas contaminated with ticks. Walk in the middle of the paths to avoid contact with overgrown grass, shrubs and foliage on the edges.

• Also protect your pets. Dogs and cats may come in contact with ticks outdoors and bring them indoors, so it is recommended to use products for the prevention of ticks in domestic animals.

• Use insect repellent. Apply DEET (20-30%) or Picaridin to Exposed Skin (EN) (19659004) • Treat garments (especially pants, socks, and shoes) with permethrin, which kills ticks or purchases pre-treated clothing when in contact. Do not use permethrin directly on the skin.

• Always follow manufacturer's instructions when using repellents.

• Perform daily tick checks. Always watch out for ticks on yourself and your animals after you've been outdoors, even in your own garden.

• Carefully check all body surfaces and remove the attached ticks with tweezers

• To remove a tick, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. With a steady movement pull the tick body away from the skin. Clean the area with an antiseptic.

• Bathe or shower as soon as possible after entering indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and find ticks crawling on you.

• Washing clothes in hot water and drying at high heat will kill ticks in clothing.

Michigan citizens can submit ticks to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) for identification and possible Lyme disease testing, for free by contacting the MCDHP. Residents can send electronic photos of ticks to the MDHHS for identification at [email protected] For more information about submitting check marks and / or photos, see Michigan.gov/lyme.

. To contact the MCDHP, call: 989-832-6380 or visit: https://bit.ly/2L2FTNE. [19659020]
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