Officials anticipating large number of Lyme disease cases due to increase in ticks

Local News

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says she’s anticipating a large number of Lyme disease cases this summer and that’s because we’re seeing a lot of reports of ticks found in the community.

Burstein gave News 4 some information on how to protect yourself, especially with kids playing outside this summer. 

She says the best protection is prevention. That includes making sure your lawn is cut and hedges are trimmed, giving ticks less of a chance to move onto people.

It’s also important to cover your skin with pants and long sleeves as much as possible and high socks.

If you can’t do that, Burstein says to use insect repellent with at least 25% DEET and doing a tick check on your body after being outside is also important.

Ticks need to be on your skin for at least 36-48 hours to be able to transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Not all ticks carry the disease. 

“Only about 50% of adult ticks and about 20% of the nymphs are infected with Lyme disease. Just because you do have a tick bite doesn’t mean you’ll be infected… If it’s treated with early Lyme disease it has a very good prognosis for full recovery,” Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Health Commissioner said. 

If you find a tick on your skin, you can remove it using tweezers.

As far as symptoms of Lyme disease, Dr. Burstein says you’ll notice a specific rash that looks like a bull’s eye. It’s treated with commonly-used antibiotics.

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