Spring / summer are officially here, triggering the imagination of warmer weather and longer days. As we look forward of turning down the thermostats, opening windows and spending more time outdoors, Gene Gagnon a Registered Sanitarian of the Plainville-Southington Health District would like to remind everyone, “ticks which transmit Lyme Disease, become more active when temperatures are above 35F and since Connecticut is in the top ten for states reporting cases to the US Centers for Disease and Prevention, this is a little too close for home.”
Lyme disease makes hundreds of thousands of people sick every year; it is the most common tick-borne disease in the United States. Children are especially hard hit by Lyme disease with the highest incidence among children between the ages of 5 -14.
Ticks live in places where there is a lot of tall grass, shrubs, and leaves. Ticks wait for an animal (like deer, a mouse, or a dog) or a person to walk by. Ticks then grab on to the animal or humans to find a good place to attach themselves. They might hide in a person’s hair, or behind the knee, or even under clothing. Ticks bite into a person or animal’s skin and start drinking their blood. Tick bites don’t usually hurt, so you may not even notice. The tick can stay attached for a few days. When it is full it will fall off.
To prevent tick bites
What to do after a tick bite
If you are bitten by a tick, a small red bump may appear in a few days to a week, usually at the site of the bite. The bump may feel warm and tender when touched. It may resemble a bull’s eye, with a red ring surrounding a clear area and a red center; it is often confused with a spider bite.
Contact your physician for a further evaluation.
An engorged deer tick can be tested through the Plainville-Southington Health District.
For more information about ticks and Lyme disease contact the Plainville-Southington Health District at 860-276-6275.