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Protecting yourself from Lyme disease

Updated: 06/20/2014 7:42 AM
Created: 06/19/2014 6:45 PM WHEC.com
By: Josh Nichols

It's a serious bacterial infection spread by tick bites and it's on the rise in New York State. Hundreds of cases of Lyme disease have been reported throughout the state.

What can you do to to stay safe? Josh Nichols took a look at the problem.

As the deer tick population climbs across the northeast, incidents of Lyme disease climb as well and that trend has been noted right here in Rochester.

According to data compiled by the Monroe County Health Department and a New York State Task Force studying the tick population. More and more ticks are testing positive for Lyme disease in New York. In fact, local cases of Lyme disease in Monroe County have doubled in each of the last two years.

John Ricci of the Monroe County Health Department says, "Until probably five or six or seven years ago, we really didn't have much Lyme locally. I would say beginning about three years ago we had about twenty cases of local Lyme followed the year after that by forty and then last year we had about eighty cases."

Although that actual case count is low. These upward trends are significant enough to cause officials and doctors to take notice and get the word out to create an awareness about the number of ticks that carry Lyme disease and other diseases in our area. This becomes even more important as more and more people, and their pets venture out to parks and other places in the great outdoors for longer periods of time to enjoy the warmer weather.

Dr. Louis Papa says, "Ticks are here, they're here to stay, and they carry diseases, so you need to protect yourself against them. Wear the appropriate clothing and if you have a tick attached to you remove it promptly. If you don't know how long it was attached to you, save it, bring it to your doctor's office, and get the appropriate treatment."

So, the best solution is really awareness. By keeping your lawn mowed and using tick repellant and checking up on your kids before bedtime for ticks, you can stay safe and enjoy the great outdoors all summer long.





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