May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month
Posted by Tyler Robinson
The Iroquois County Public Health Department is urging the public to get educated about how to protect themselves from Lyme disease during National Lyme Disease Awareness Month. In addition to Lyme disease, other tickborne diseases include Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiosis, tularemia, ehrlichiosis, and babesiosis. Following are additional tips for how to avoid tickborne illnesses and have a healthy time in the outdoors:
- Walk in the center of trails. Avoid wooded, brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
- Wear light-colored clothing to make ticks easier to find. Tuck long pants into socks and boots.
- Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing 20% DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus according to label directions.
- Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings
- Conduct full-body tick checks on family members (underarms, ears, belly button, behind knees, between legs, waist, hair and scalp) every two to three hours. Also check any gear or pets taken on outings.
- Put your clothes in the dryer on high for 10 minutes (or one hour for damp clothes) to kill ticks.
- Shower within two hours after coming indoors.
If you become ill with fever and/or rash after being in an area where ticks may have been, contact your health care provider. Some tick-borne illnesses can be life-threatening.