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Free program to educate community on ticks, bite prevention

| April 12, 2022

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) A panel of experts will weigh in on the uptick in Lyme disease infections the community has been experiencing during a free program at Tuscora Park Wednesday evening. 

The Tuscarawas County Parks Department and local OSU Extension are hosting a forum titled “Exploring Ticks and Discovering Tick Borne Illnesses” in the park’s dining hall beginning at 6:30 pm. TuscParks Education Manager Marsha Freeland says they want to make residents aware of the threat that exists not just in wooded areas but in their own gardens and yards.

“And that is our purpose. We have several experts from around the state, from OSU extension, as well as some local doctors, local citizens, and even [New Philadelphia educator] Kipp Brady, who has been doing some tick research with his students.”

Pre-registration is requested but not required and can be completed at Freeland says if you can’t attend, you’re not out of luck as it will be recorded and posted online afterward.

“That way we can put it out there as well, so if you can’t make it hopefully you’ll be able to observe or watch the program another way.”

Panelists include OSU State Specialist and Veterinarian Tim McDermott, local physician Dr. Jeffrey Burrier, and Tuscarawas County resident Karen Metzger, who contracted Lyme disease from a tick bite she experienced as a child and wasn’t diagnosed until years later. Her husband, Tuscarawas County Commissioner Kerry Metzger, that’s often the case for those afflicted with the disease.

“She had to actually self-diagnose it. All the physicians thought it was something else, but when you diagnose Lyme Disease you have to look at the 30,000-foot view of what Lyme Disease is to detect it because it mimics so many other diseases.”

The Tuscarawas County and New Philadelphia health departments investigated 140 suspected Lyme Disease infections last year compared to 68 in 2020.

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