Health officials warn the public of tick-borne illnesses as the weather warms across WNY

Local News

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Temperatures on the rise across Western New York, and the Erie County Department of Health wants residents to protect themselves from tick-borne illnesses.

County health officials say ticks are active from April through November in WNY. ECDOH warns that bites from ticks can cause illnesses like Lyme disease. They say a “thorough inspection” of yourself and your children is advised after gardening, camping, hiking and other outdoor activities to check for the tiny insects.

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The county health department adds that tick bites can be prevented by covering exposed skin and through the use of insect repellent that has 20% or more DEET, picaridin or IR 3535. These repellents should not be used on kids under two months old.

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein emphasizes how important it is to protect yourself and others from ticks.

“Where there are ticks, there can be tick-borne diseases. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-born disease in the United States, and is transmitted through the bite of an infected black-legged tick,” said Dr. Gale Burstein.

“Fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic bull’s-eye skin rash are typical symptoms, and people may develop more serious and lingering complications.”

For details on removing ticks from your skin, click here.

More information on ticks and Lyme disease can be found on the ECDOH website.

Courtesy: ECDOH

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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