Harford County Health Department Urges Prevention During Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Awareness Month

From the Harford County Health Department:

With warmer temperatures and our return to outdoor activities comes increased risk of Lyme disease, the most common vector borne disease in the United States, as well as other serious tick-borne infections. With this in mind, the Harford County Health Department wants residents to be “tick aware”, even in areas they may not consider themselves to be at risk. This means being more attentive from springtime through fall, when gardening, doing yard work or while recreating near wooded and grassy areas.

Prior to 2013, the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated the number of diagnosed and probable cases around 45,000 annually. However, a landmark moment in the history of Lyme disease came in that year when the CDC announced that the actual number of Lyme disease cases nationwide probably approaches some 300,000 annually.

“Ticks transmit not only Lyme disease, but also other serious diseases including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and tularemia,” warns Harford County Health Officer, Ms. Susan Kelly.

“These ticks, often no larger than the size of a pin head, are carried by mice, rabbits, squirrels, deer, birds and other forms of wildlife and domestic animals into the backyards and homes of the citizens of Harford County, as well as outlying areas where they work, play and socialize. Risks can be greatly reduced by wearing protective clothing, applying appropriate repellents, checking thoroughly for ticks and showering after being in tick habitats, avoiding tick infested areas, keeping ticks off pets, and managing the environment to minimize tick abundance.”

Lyme disease can affect multiple body systems and produce a wide range of symptoms. Not all patients with Lyme disease will have all symptoms, and many of the symptoms are not specific to Lyme disease, but can occur with other diseases as well.

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