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Jasper County Health Department Tips

Lyme Disease

Information provided by the Jasper County Health Department 

 

The months of May through July are when the deer tick in its nymph (between larva and adult) stage is most active.  According to CDC, ticks are usually in the nymph state when they transmit Lyme disease to humans.  At this stage of life they are approximately the size of a poppy seed. 

Lyme disease was first recognized in 1975 when a cluster of rheumatoid arthritis cases occurred in the town of Lyme, Conn.  These were mostly children, and the outbreak began with rashes, headaches, and joint pain during the summer months-the height of the tick season. 

The bacterium enters the skin at the site of the bite and migrates until it penetrates the bloodstream.  It usually takes at least 36 hours following a tick bite for the bacterium to be transmitted, so early removal of attached ticks is very important.

The best way to remove a tick is with tweezers.  Grab as closely to the skin as possible and pull straight back.  Do not use your fingers to remove ticks, or twist the tick which can cause breakage, leaving part of its body in your skin.  Do not crush, prick, or burn the tick, which may cause it to salivate or regurgitate infected fluids.  Do not try to smother the tick with products such as petroleum jelly or mineral oil.  Tick can store enough oxygen to complete feeding. 

After you remove the tick, it is also important on how you dispose of it.  You should place the tick in a sealed container or small plastic bag and deposit it in the trash.  According to CDC’s public health education specialist the plastic bag lacks humidity which is needed for ticks to survive.  Do not flush ticks down the toilet because they can easily survive in the water.

 

 

For further information on environmental topics, contact the Environmental Health Division of the Jasper County Health Department at 783-5206.


 

 

 Linda Koester
Division of Environmental Health
Jasper County Health Department
106 East Edwards Street
Email: lkoester@jasperhealth.org


Jasper County Health Department
Division of Environmental Health
106 East Edwards
Newton, IL 62448
Phone: (618)783-5206 Fax (618)783-2339