Lyme disease activity increasing in Washington County
Washington County Public Health reported today that during the week of July 14 the department received three confirmed cases of Lyme disease in two days. In a typical year one to four cases are reported.
Symptoms include fever, circular red rash that can look like a bull's-eye, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and stiff neck. Complications can involve the nervous system, heart and joints.
The department advises the best way to protect yourself from a tick bite and Lyme Disease is:
Do not walk barelegged in tall grass or woods;
Carry out "tick checks" every two or three hours if spending a lot of time outdoors. Ticks are most often found on the thigh, arms, underarms, and legs. Ticks can be very small so look for new "freckles.";
Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and high socks. Tuck pants into socks;
Remove any attached ticks immediately. The best way is to use tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight out. Do not use a twisting motion as it may leave a part of the tick in the skin. Do not squeeze the tick's body when removing it. Do not handle the tick with bare hands. Wash hands after removing a tick. Antiseptic may be applied to the bite;
Use tick repellants containing DEET. Always follow directions on the label. wash off repellants after going indoors.
For more information, see the Monday, July 21 edition of The Washington Evening Journal.