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Health officials warn that tick season has begun

Mar 24, 2021 5:30 am

Natasha Vaughn is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media local health officials are warning of the dangers of tick bites as the temperatures begin to rise. This is Tick Bite Prevention Week and local municipalities are urging caution for ticks and the diseases they can bring. Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said, “They’re really out there, and they get to be a lot more active now that the weather is warming up.” The department of health suggests wearing long clothes when going outside, use some type of chemical tick deterrent and spray it around your ankles, especially so ticks are less likely to crawl up your legs, and checking yourself for any ticks before going back into your house. “This time of the year is when the nymphs are out,” Mabb said. “They’re really hard to see, they are small. If you’re a hairy person then it’s going to be really hard to see them sometimes to pick them out yourself. I would strongly suggest [that] parents check their kids.” Deer tick nymphs are as small as poppy seeds and they account for about 80 percent of all tick-borne diseases. They are most active between May and October. The latest information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2018 reports that New York has the third-highest number of confirmed incidents of Lyme disease in the nation behind Pennsylvania and New Jersey. “Columbia County is one of the worst in the state when it comes to numbers,” Mabb said. “And we don’t expect it to be any less for 2021.” From 2000 to 2018, Dutchess County had the highest number of Lyme cases during that time, Columbia County had the second-highest number of confirmed cases in the state and Greene County had the ninth-highest number of cases. Lyme symptoms can include fever, headache, fatigue and skin rash. If left untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous system. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.