Because ticks are most active in April through September, Greene County Public Health officials want to remind you to take preventive measures against them because they can transmit possibly fatal diseases.
An infected person or animal cannot pass disease to another animal or person. In Ohio, these kinds of diseases include Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.
Preventative measures include avoiding direct contact with ticks, avoiding wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter, and walking the center of trails.
To help repel ticks, use repellents that contain 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin and clothing. Follow the product instructs and avoid applying to hands, eyes and mouth. Use products that contain permethrin for clothing and to treat boots, socks, pants and tents.
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To find and remove ticks from your body:
- Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors
- Conduct a full-body check using a mirror
- Parents, check children’s hair, ears, arms, waist, belly button, behind knees and between legs
- Examine gear and pets
- Tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat for an hour to kill ticks
Dogs are susceptible to tick bites and tick-borne diseases, Cats are sensitive to a variety of chemicals, so consult a veterinarian first before applying any insect repellents.
With the exception of Lyme disease, vaccines are not available for most of the tick-borne diseases that dogs can get. Tick bites on dogs may be hard to detect, and signs of tick-borne disease may not appear for 7 to 21 days or more after a bite, so watch your dog closely for changes in behavior or appetite.
Here are some ways to reduce the chances a tick will transmit disease to you or your pets:
- Check your pets daily, especially after they spend time outdoors
- If you find a tick on your pet, remove it right away
- Ask your veterinarian to conduct a tick check at each exam
- Talk with your vet about using tick preventives
To remove a tick:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible
- Pull upward with steady pressure. Twisting or jerking can cause mouth-parts to break and remain in the skin
- Clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, iodine scrub, or soap and water
- Submerse a live tick in alcohol and place it in a sealed container or flush it in the toilet
- Never crush a tick with your fingers
For more, call 937-374-5600. Additional health information can be found at www.gcph.info.
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