Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

December 7, 2015
Contact: Scott Salotto (845) 638-5645
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512

Enjoy the beautiful weather and take steps to reduce your risk of Lyme disease
and other tick-borne illnesses

NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert remind all residents to be aware of the risks of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses during the unusually warm weather we are having for late autumn.

Be alert for adult ticks - normally the size of a sesame seed, but can be as big as a small raisin after feeding. Adult ticks are usually active when the temperature is above 40 degrees F; usually inactive when ground is snow covered and in temperatures below 40 degrees F.

"If you take part in any outdoor activities, remember to protect yourself from tick bites. We urge all County residents to reduce the risk of getting Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses by following these simple steps," said Dr. Ruppert:

1. Conduct a daily tick check of yourself, your children and your pets.

  • Before coming inside, check your clothing for loose ticks and brush them off.
  • Examine all areas of the body for ticks (easily done in the shower).
  • Remove any attached ticks as soon as possible with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick's mouthparts, as close to the skin as possible, and firmly pull upward until the tick releases its hold.

2. When outdoors, dress to protect.

  • Wear a light colored long sleeved shirt and long pants.
  • Tuck shirts into pants and pant legs into socks.
  • Tie long hair back into an elastic band or wear a hat.

3. Consider the use of an insect repellent.

  • If you decide to use an insect repellent, carefully follow the directions on the repellent.

4. Take precautions when walking outdoors.

  • When in grassy or wooded areas, walk in the center of paths so you don't brush up again bushes and other plants.
  • Stay out of leaf litter.
  • Don't sit on fallen trees, rock walls or directly on the grass or ground.

5. Become aware of the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease.

  • People who have Lyme disease often say they feel like they have the flu. Other symptoms can be fever, sleepiness, swollen glands, headache, skin rash, muscle or joint pain. Symptoms can start 3-30 days after an infected tick bite. Should any symptoms occur or you feel ill, contact your doctor.

For more information about Lyme disease or other tick-borne diseases, call the Health Department at 845-364-2501 or visit