Lyme Disease on the Rise

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that an estimated 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, which is 10 times more than the figure previously reported by the agency. The federal public health agency announced the findings recently at the 2013 International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and Other Tick-Borne Diseases in Boston.

Columbia County had the highest rate of Lyme disease in the state, as reported to the state Department of Health between 2007 and 2009, with 792.4 cases per 100,000. Neighboring Greene County reported the second highest rate of Lyme disease in the state to the Department of Health for the 2007 to 2009 period, with 593.3 cases. Ulster County reported a rate of 315.8 cases, followed by 304 in Dutchess County and 285.8 in Rensselaer, according to The Register Star.

CDC continues to analyze data to better understand the overall burden of Lyme disease in the United States. Efforts are also underway at CDC and by other researchers to identify novel methods to kill ticks and prevent illness in people. “We know people can prevent tick bites through steps like using insect repellents and tick checks. Although these measures are effective, they aren’t fail-proof and people don’t always use them,” said Lyle R. Petersen, M.D., M.P.H, director of CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases. “We need to move to a broader approach to tick reduction, involving entire communities, to combat this public health problem.”

This community approach would involve homeowners trying to kill ticks in their own yards, and communities addressing a variety of issues. These issues include rodents that carry the Lyme disease bacteria, deer that play a key role in the ticks’ lifecycle, suburban planning, and the interaction between deer, rodents, ticks, and humans. All must be addressed to effectively fight Lyme disease.

Tick Prevention Tips:

  • Wear light colored clothing, long sleeves and pants, tuck pants into socks.
  • Long loose hair should be covered, braided or tied when venturing into areas where ticks are apt to be.
  • Spray your clothing, with an insect repellent.
  • When coming in from outside activities where you might have encountered ticks, throw clothing into the dryer set on high heat. This will ensure no ticks survive on your clothing.
  • After spending time outdoors, perform a tick check, take a shower and wash your hair. Check dark, moist areas: hair, cracks behind ears, knees, elbows, underarms, crotch etc.
  • Keep pets that have outside exposure off furniture especially bedding. Perform a tick check on your pet and properly remove ticks if found. Ticks should be removed promptly and correctly. Learn how to remove a tick correctly, don’t squeeze, burn or cover in a substance.

Living in and around the Capital Region, ticks plague our properties putting our families and health at risk. Unfortunately, keeping these insects away from your property is nearly impossible, but our pest management services can help. With simple precautions you can potentially avoid encounters with these biting insects. Thomas Pest Services, your Schenectady pest control experts can help reduce you and your families’ risk. If you live in Clifton Park or elsewhere in the Capital Region and need assistance getting rid of ticks , fill out our contact form today!

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