With the dog days of summer fast approaching, the Connecticut Department of Public Health is cautioning residents to take precautionary measures to avoid Lyme disease, which “can be readily acquired in any Connecticut town, particularly in areas that are wooded.”
Lyme disease has been a public health issue in Connecticut since 1975, according to officials, who warned that “while most human cases of Lyme disease are the result of the bites of tiny, infected immature ticks called ‘nymphs’, which feed during the spring and early summer months, the adult black-legged tick known as a ‘deer tick’ or Ixodes scapularis, is most active from late October through May.”
In 2016 alone, Connecticut residents reported 1,752 cases of Lyme disease, fifth most in hte nation. Fairfield County was the second highest incidence rate.
To combat the rise in Lyme disease, health officials have made literature available to Fairfield residents and has offered testing of ticks for the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. Officials said that “if a tick is found on a person – either dead or alive – it should be removed carefully with a long-nosed tweezer.”
“The spring is important for awareness about Lyme disease since everyone is planting, raking leaves and/or taking part in some kind of outdoor activity”, Caroline Calderone Baisley, Director of Health stated. “By applying a few simple precautionary measures like checking for ticks on the body every day, avoiding tick-prone areas such as leaf litter and vegetation, and using insect repellant, everyone can still enjoy being outdoors. These measures will decrease the chance of being infected.
“It is also important to remember that pets can carry ticks into the home, so checking pets for ticks will greatly reduce the risk of ticks being carried indoors. Pet owners should talk to their veterinarians about using a topical tick prevention product on their pet all year long”.
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