For May, the Cortland County Health Department is emphasizing education on ticks and Lyme Disease.
Karen Felker-Harrity, RN is with the County Communicable Disease Program and explains a tick check. “Taking your leg and rubbing over your leg and your arms. If a nymph is that small, the size of a poppy seed, you may not see it, so you’re gonna rub your hand over your exposed areas. You know what your skin looks like. If you see a little dark spot or something crawling on you, brush it off!”
When you return home after being outside, you might consider a shower and a full body check, says Felker-Harrity. “The full body tick check is taking your clothes off. If your clothes are dry you can throw them in the dryer for ten minutes. A hot dryer, that will kill ticks that came in on your clothes. Wherever you have good lighting and a mirror – look in all those spots for something that’s either moving on your or something that’s attached.”
Felker-Harrity and Diane Madik-Lamont, Supervising Sanitarian, County Environmental Health together shared advice on what to look for: “It’s important to check all the nooks and crannies, you know…behind your ears, hairline, knees, waistband, belly button, armpits, groin, back of the knee… Back of the knee because they like the back of the knee, again that’s a spot that’s easy to attack to and we don’t often see it there.”
“Because ticks don’t fly, and they don’t jump. They wait in the brush or on the tall grasses to attach to you as you go by.”
Listen to X101 news this week for more stories on ticks and Lyme Disease, including Thursday, when we tell you how to remove a tick. (The county health experts say “you can do it.”)