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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2019
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512

THIS SUMMER BE TICK-FREE TO PREVENT
TICK-BORNE ILLNESSES

NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert remind residents that as you spend time outside this summer, be sure to protect yourself from tick bites.

"A bite from an infected blacklegged (or deer tick) can cause Lyme Disease and other tick-borne diseases. New York and the Lower Hudson Valley is a region of high risk for tick bites, therefore, it's important for residents to follow these five simple steps to protect yourself and your family," said Dr. Ruppert:

1. Check your skin for ticks daily. When outside, check your skin and clothing for ticks. Check often when in grassy or wooded areas. Brush any ticks off before they attach. Do a full check of your skin when you go back inside. It's easy to check when you bathe or shower. Be sure to check for ticks on your children and pets too!
2. Remove ticks quickly and safely. Remove any attached ticks using this safe method: Using fine tipped tweezers, grasp the tick near the mouth parts as close to the skin as possible. Do not twist, turn, or squeeze the tick's body. Instead, pull the tick in a steady, upward motion away from the skin until the tick lets go. To lessen your chance of infection, remove an attached tick as soon as possible. For tick identification, call the Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticultural Lab at 845-429-7085. Alternatively, after tick removal, the tick can be kept in a plastic bag in case a rash is seen or other symptoms of Lyme develop.
3. Dress in clothes that protect. Wear light colored clothing, such as white or pastels. Wear a long- sleeved shirt, long pants, socks and shoes. Tuck your shirt into your pants and pant-legs into your socks. Wear sneakers or boots, not sandals. Tie back long hair or wear a hat.
4. Consider the use of an insect repellent. Carefully read and follow the directions on the repellent label. Some products should be used only on clothing, never on the skin. Talk to your pediatrician about using repellents on your children. Never let children put repellents on themselves.
5. Learn the symptoms of Lyme disease: After a tick bite, watch for symptoms for at least 30 days. Symptoms can include tiredness, headache, neck stiffness, slight fever, swollen glands, and pain or stiffness of muscles or joints. Some people will get a pink-red rash that gets bigger, called a "bulls-eye" rash. If you have any of these symptoms or are feeling ill, see your doctor.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease in the US every year, but only about 35,000 diagnoses are reported. In Rockland County, new cases continue to be reported to the Health Department.

For more information, visit http://rocklandgov.com/departments/health/programs-and-services/lyme-disease-prevention-and-education-program/ or call the Health Department at (845) 364-2500.