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Lyme disease prevention

May 07, 2001

Lyme disease prevention



"The whole idea is to keep the tick away from the skin."

- Dr. Dino J. Delaportas, Hagerstown internist

To reduce chances of getting bitten by a tick:

Avoid tick-infested areas when possible, and don't take shortcuts through heavily wooded areas. Ticks like low-lying brush and catch a ride on passing animals or people. Wooded areas are at high risk for tick infestation, as are low-growing grassland and the seashore.

Stay in the center of paths.

Avoid sitting on the ground.

Wear light-colored clothing. This allows ticks to be seen more easily and provides an opportunity to remove them before they can attach to skin and feed.

Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. This reduces the skin area exposed to ticks. Also, tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks. This keeps ticks on the outside of clothing and prevents them from crawling onto skin.

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Use EPA-approved tick repellents. Wash off repellents when you go inside. Adults should apply repellent on children.

Conduct frequent tick checks. This includes a visual inspection of clothing and exposed skin, followed by a naked, full-body examination. Check the scalp, behind and in the ears, and behind joints.

Check pets for ticks for their safety and your family's safety.

- Sources: Lyme Disease Foundation Inc. Web site, www.lyme.org

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