This year is predicted to be a particularly bad one for ticks and tick-borne diseases, whether you're vacationing upstate or just going for a walk in Central Park.
June and July are especially dangerous, since ticks in the second stages of their life cycle cause the most cases of Lyme disease.
Here are some ways to protect yourself from ticks. Avoid shady, wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter. Repellent with DEET is the most effective way to repel ticks, but those with picaridin or IR3535 work too, says Richard Ostfeld, Ph.D, a disease ecologist with the Cary Institute in Hudson Valley.
To get rid of a tick use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible; slowly pull out in an upward motion; and then wash the area with rubbing alcohol. See your doctor immediately if you experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, lethargy and body aches. You should also know that repellents don't actually kill ticks, so the best way to protect yourself and your children from tick bites is to spray clothing - especially shoes and socks, which baby ticks love to latch onto - with permethrin. Though the ticks may still find you, they'll die before they have a chance to infect you. According to the CDC natural repellents include essential oils from rosemary, lemongrass, thyme and nootkatone. The EPA hasn't registered them as repellents but some studies have shown that they do keep ticks away.
So if you or your child or grandchild get bit by a tick go directly to you doctor, hopefully a LLD doctor and demand a blood test and to be put on antibiotics. Do not wait for the blood test results, start the antibiotics immediately. Remember that precaution is the best remedy.
Column Posted on Web Site August 1, 2017