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County Seeing an Increase in Reports of Tick-Borne Illness

The Rensselaer County Health Department is urging residents this summer to take precautions to prevent exposure to tick-borne diseases, including Lyme, Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis, County Executive Steve McLaughlin and Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas announced.

The warning comes after a significant increase in cases of Anaplasmosis found in Rensselaer County this summer, and reported to health officials.

“As we move into summer and weeks of hot weather, we encourage residents to be aware of tick-borne disease and to take precautions. We want everyone to have a happy, healthy and safe summer and to contact our Health Department if an issue with ticks arises,” said County Executive Steve McLaughlin.

“We are seeing an increase in tick bites and tick-borne illnesses at our Health Department and in the region. Residents should be aware of the increased tick activity and to be ready to protect themselves as they enjoy the outdoors this summer,” said Wachunas.

The following precautions are recommended as protection for tick-borne illness and disease:

–              Wear repellent with DEET on skin or clothing.

–              Create tick-safe zones in your yard through appropriate landscaping and trimming, reasonable and safe application of pesticides, and also by keeping deer away from property.

–              Regularly check your body, clothing and pets for ticks.

–              When checking your body, check under arms, ears, the belly button, backs of knees, between legs, around the waist, and in and around all head and body hair.

–              Shower soon after being outdoors.

–              Check clothes carefully or place them into a dryer on high heat.

–              Prevent family pets from bringing ticks into the home by using veterinarian-prescribed tick collars or spot-on treatment.

–              Remove attached ticks quickly and carefully using fine tipped tweezers.

“Our department has responded to increases in tick-borne activity. Residents with a concern or question are invited to contact the county Health Department to help beat back ticks and ensure everyone can enjoy the summer,” said Wachunas.

For more information, please call the Rensselaer County Health Department at 518-270-2655 or visit at www.rensco.com. More information can also be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/anaplasmosis .