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Health officials promote Lyme Disease Awareness Month

| May 16, 2024

DOVER (WJER) (May 16, 2024) – Tuscarawas County Health Department Officials are offering advice for Lyme Disease Awareness Month in May.

Director of Promotion and Community Relations Jennifer Demuth says check your skin after a hike in the woods or tall grassy areas for ticks that carry Lyme disease-causing bacteria. She says they should be removed quickly and safely using tweezers.

“You want to pull it away from the skin – straight up from the skin – with steady, even pressure,” said Demuth.

She said the numbers have been on the rise with the recent mild winters.

“At the Tuscarawas County Health Department, we have seen a significant increase in Lyme disease cases over the past few years,” Demuth said.

Communicable Disease Nurse Valerie Wallace says Lyme disease can start with a bullseye rash three to 30 days after a tick bite followed by symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle pain.

“If you do have those symptoms, you do want to call your provider right away,” Wallace said.

She says it’s easier to treat the sooner it’s caught.

“It definitely can become an issue if you’re not treated,” said Wallace.

Lyme disease can be diagnosed through a blood test.

Health officials encourage people to wear light-colored clothing and long pants along with insect repellent to avoid ticks.

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