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Deb Kilbarger
Food Safety Team Leader  P: 740-652-2800
Email

Fairfield Department of Health
1550 Sheridan Drive
Suite 100 (map)
Lancaster, Ohio 43130
P: 740-652-2800
FAIRFIELD DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: TICK INFORMATION
WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TICKS + TICK-BORNE DISEASE
Residents need to know that not all ticks cause human disease, but certain species of ticks can carry the bacteria that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever or Lyme disease. It is always best to avoid ticks if possible, and at the same time become familiar with tick borne diseases and their symptoms.

The American dog tick is the primary carrier of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in the eastern United Sates. In Ohio, this tick is widespread and abundant. It will bite and feed on any available mammal, including humans.

The bacteria that cause Rocky Mountain spotted fever is transmitted to humans through the tick’s saliva while feeding. Only one to three percent of the tick population carries this bacterium, so risk of exposure to an infected tick are pretty low.

Symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever appear two to 14 days after the tick bite. These symptoms can include a sudden onset of fever, headache, flu-like symptoms and often followed by a characteristic spotted rash. The rash first appears at the wrists and ankles, and may spread if not treated. When diagnosed
early, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, it can be fatal.

Lyme is a bacterial disease caused by a spirochete-type bacterium. Lyme disease is transmitted by the black legged tick, also known as the “deer tick”. This tick is commonly found in areas of deciduous forest and especially with leaf litter. This tick is rare, but has been found - which means they are being imported into our area through migratory birds, animals and pets that travelfrom one area to another.

The first sign of a Lyme disease infection is the characteristic “bull’s eye” rash that develops at the site of where the tick was attached to the person. This rash usually appears seven to 14 days after the tick exposure. Other symptoms could include muscle aches, tiredness, fever, swollen glands, headache and joint pain. Lyme infections can have long-term, chronic complications that develop months or years
after infection.

In its early stages, Lyme disease is commonly treated with antibiotics. Having Lyme disease once, unfortunately does not protect against re-infection. Note that people cannot get Rocky Mountain spotted fever or Lyme disease from another person. The disease is only spread through a tick that is infected with the disease.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND A TICK ON YOU
Remove the tick as soon as possible - this reduces your risk of infection. Use tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and pull with steady-even pressure. Do not twist or jerk on the tick. Try not to crush or puncture the tick or use a cigarette to remove it. This may cause the tick to burst and increase disease risk.
After you remove the tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite site and wash your hands with soap and water.

** This year, the Ohio Department of Health is no longer testing ticks. Therefore, the Fairfield Department of Health will no longer be collecting ticks for testing.

Also, be aware of the symptoms of tick borne diseases and see your healthcare provider if you experience these symptoms.

HOW TO AVOID BEING BITTEN BY A TICK
Ticks are active in Ohio from early spring to late fall. To avoid exposure to ticks, obviously avoid tick-infested areas. Dog ticks are often found in overgrown lost and along weedy roadsides, paths and trails. In spring and summer, ticks wait on vegetation for a person or animal to brush against the vegetation. Then the tick will
cling to fur or clothing and look for a place to attach and begin feeding. Contrary to popular belief, ticks don’t fall out of trees - they climb up to your head and attach to your scalp.

So, if you go into these places, tuck your pants into your sock tops or boots. Wear light colored clothing to make it easier to see ticks. Use repellants and follow their instruction carefully. Check your dogs that have been outside. Keep your yard and outdoor play areas well mowed to discourage tick infestation.

TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR EXPOSURE TO TICKS + TICK RELATED DISEASES:
• Stick to main pathways and the center of trails when hiking.
• Wear long-sleeved, light colored shirts and long pants tucked into your socks.
• Use repellents that contain DEET on your clothes or exposed skin.
• Use repellents that contain permethrin on your clothes.
• Keep grass cut short.
• Remove leaf litter and brush from around your home.
• Prune low lying brushes to let in more sunlight.
• Keep woodpiles and bird feeders off the ground and away from your home.
• Plant trees or flowers that do not attract deer and install a fence to keep deer from entering your property.
• Check yourself for ticks first and then other family members and pets. Check along the hairline, between the
   toes, back of the knees, groin, armpits, neck, and behind the ears.
Adult female black legged tick,
also known as the "deer tick,"
CDC photo
Adult female dog tick - CDC photo
Lifecycles of ticks and sizes comparable to a dime - CDC drawing
AVOID TICK EXPOSURE
Because of the warm and wet weather we’ve had this past spring, ticks are in abundance. The Fairfield Department of Health offers these tips to reduce your exposure to ticks and tick related diseases:

• Stick to main pathways and the center of trails when hiking.
• Wear long-sleeved, light-colored shirts and long pants tucked into your socks so you can see the ticks.
• Use repellents that contain DEET on your clothes or exposed skin and/or repellents that contain
    permethrin on your clothes.
• Keep grass cut short.
• Remove leaf litter and brush from around your home.
• Prune low lying bushes to let in more sunlight.
• Keep woodpiles and bird feeders off the ground and away from your home.
• Plant trees or flowers that do not attract deer and install a fence to keep deer from entering your property.
• Check yourself for ticks first and then other family members and pets.  Check along the hairline, between the
   toes, back of knees, groin, armpits, and neck behind the ears.

If you find a tick attached to your skin, the best way to remove it is to grasp the tick with tweezers and gently pull until the tick is removed. Don’t squeeze or crush it when pulling. Do not use a hot match on the tick.  This may irritate the tick and cause it to hold on more tightly.  Don’t pull too hard or you may leave mouth parts in your skin.

Once the tick has been removed, disinfect the site and make sure you wash your hands. Starting in 2013, the Ohio Department of Health will no longer conduct the tick or mosquito identification programs.
Tick Information from Fairfield County Health Department
Fairfield County Health Department - Lancaster, Ohio
Fairfield Department of Health
Larry Hanna / Email
Administrator
P: 740-652-2817

Kathie Whitlock / Email
Admin. Assistant


Office + Clinic Hours:
Monday-Friday 8am to 4pm
Closed 11:30am to 12:00pm

Contact Us:
Phone: 740-652-2800
               800-400-8056
               614-322-5245
Fax:       740-653-6626
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1550 Sheridan Drive
Suite 100 (map)
Lancaster, Ohio 43130