We are in tick season in northern New York, which means the risk of Lyme Disease - which can affect the skin, joints, heart and nervous system - is high.
"It's definitely one of the primary, if not the primary, vector-borne disease that's on the radar right now, not only for Jefferson but across central New York in general," said Jeff Liendecker, from Jefferson County's Public Health Service.
So if you get a tick bite, what should you do?
Well, removing the tick quickly is one thing. It takes about a day and a half to contract the disease.
"If you find one, use tweezers, grab as closely to your skin as possible and gently pull it off," Liendecker said.
To prevent bites from happening:
- keep your lawn mowed.
- check firwood for ticks before you bring the wood in the house.
- in the woods or high grass, cover your skin as much as possible and use a bug reppellent containing DEET.
- check yourself for bites after you've been in an area where you might be exposed to ticks.
If you have a tick bite, you should consult your doctor. A blood test determines whether you have Lyme Disease which - assuming it's caught early enough - is curable with an antibiotic.
Friday, May 6, 2016, Watertown, NY