The Community Health Association of Richmond and West Stockbridge – Taking Care of Each Other
Lyme Disease Prevention:
According to the Mass. Department of Health, Berkshire County has the highest incidence of Lyme Disease throughout all of Massachusetts. Now that spring is here and the deer ticks are coming out, it is important that we all focus on prevention.
The bite of a deer tick may transmit Lyme Disease and the tick must be attached for at least 24 hours before transmission can occur. It is critical to remove the tick immediately and properly. Extract the tick by grasping it near the head with fine tipped tweezers. Pull straight out and avoid twisting. When the tick is out, apply an antiseptic to the site. Place the tick in a jar or vial with alcohol to kill it. Monitor the site of the bite. If a rash or other early Lyme symptoms develop, see a physician immediately. Early symptoms to watch for are: a solid red or bulls eye rash, headache, general achiness, fever, and swelling of lymph glands close to the bite.
Ticks favor moist and shady environments, especially areas with leaf litter and low lying vegetation in wooded, brushy, or overgrown grassy habitats. They are also in back yards or on bike trails. Wear light-colored clothing so ticks can be easily spotted. Wear long –sleeved shirts and tucking pants into socks or boot tops may help keep ticks from reaching your skin. An application of insect repellent containing DEET (use a concentration between 30-35% for adults and 15% for children) on clothing and on open, unbroken skin is recommended. Never use these products on infants; use with caution with children, and never apply it on the child’s face. Never apply this product to pets.