Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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More ticks and already several Lyme Disease cases

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: More ticks and already several Lyme Disease cases
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Nice, sunny days are what we've been anxiously waiting for. But with the warm weather comes a host of insects including ticks which can cause Lyme Disease. Our Katie Gibas tells us that experts expect an uptick in the number of pests this year.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- "Ticks are like roaches. They can survive anything. They're going to be here long after we're gone," said Dr. Joe Domachowske, Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital Infectious Disease Specialist.

And ticks are back in full force.

"We're seeing more and more ticks in the area. More people are reporting their pets have ticks and more people who are outside are getting ticks, but I don't think it's a function of the season as much as it is increasing tick populations in the area," said Kim Adams, a SUNY ESF Extension Entomologist.

Even if you live in a pretty populated area, they can still be in your yard.

"The mice, voles, that you don't even pay attention to serve as hosts and they may nest in your flower garden. Ticks will be there too. It's those smaller hosts that are really our problem because those are everywhere," said Adams.

That's why experts are reminding you to protect your pets with a topical medication like Frontline.

And you should use an insect repellent with Deet. Wear light clothing where ticks will be more visible. Tuck your pants into socks or boots.

"It's becoming more and more important. These things can transmit pretty nasty viruses. And we have to pay attention," said Adams.

But if you do end up with a tick, don't panic.

"Take a pair of tweezers, grab the tick on both sides and pull straight out. It's not uncommon for the front part of the tick, the jaw, the biting part of the tick to be left in the skin. Don't worry about that. It's the body of the tick that's infected that will transmit infection," said Domachowske.

Experts say once the tick is off you or your pet, make sure it is dead and toss it in the trash.
And always remember when you're handling ticks, make sure to wear latex gloves so the tick can't spread any disease to you.

In the last week, Doctors have already seen a few cases of Lyme Disease transmitted by ticks.

"If you have a local reaction to the tick itself, which is very common, it'll be localized and very small, smaller than a quarter, usually right around the tick was in your skin. If you develop a rash three or four days later, after the tick's been removed, that could be Lyme Disease, so you want to get that looked at," said Domachowske.

Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics if caught early.

For more information on ticks,check out the links below.



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