While many of us may be enjoying more of the great outdoors lately, be mindful that tick season is upon us. The CDC estimates over 300,000 people in the U.S. are infected with Lyme disease annually, with 96% of those cases concentrated in just 14 states, primarily in the Northeast and upper Midwest.
Adult blacklegged ticks (“deer ticks”) are commonly found this time of year, and May, June, and July will become peak months for nymphs – the younger, much harder to see, poppy-seed sized deer tick. Prevention and detection are critical.
A local organization, LymeConnection.org, helped create the BLAST program to educate people on tick-borne disease prevention. To reduce chances of tick bites and illness, BLAST recommends:
Bathing within two hours of outdoor activity
Looking for ticks and rashes daily
Applying repellents to skin and clothing
Spraying your yard and maintaining tick-safe landscaping
Treating pets with veterinarian recommended products.
Tick Prevention Kits are also available for free at RVNAhealth, courtesy of Lyme Connection and the BLAST Program. Each kit contains a magnifying tweezer, information on tick removal, identification, and testing, and a sample insect repellent. If you do find a tick on your body, consult your doctor with questions about removal or Lyme disease symptoms. Many doctors provide telehealth services that can address tick and Lyme concerns. You may also submit ticks directly to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.
Now, more than ever, fresh air should be a priority. Ticks may not be avoidable, but being aware and prepared will help ensure safe, fun hours ahead outdoors.
Tick Prevention Kits are available for free at RVNAhealth, courtesy of Lyme Connection and the BLAST Program.
To get your Tick Prevention Kit, you may stop by the RVNAhealth main lobby (preferably while performing other essential errands) from Monday through Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm.