Protect yourself from Lyme Disease

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 10:04 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Ticks aren’t an uncommon run-in during the warmer months so it’s best to be vigilant.

We spoke with the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department’s spokesperson to get advice on how to best stay vigilant.

With the sun coming out, the birds are chirping, walking your dog is less painful, and other outdoor activities look more enticing. However, the ticks are out too.

Spokesperson Brainard said, “Usually when you’re outside, in the tall grass, around bushes, in the woods, that’s where you’re most likely to pick up the ticks. Also if you have dogs that - or cats that are outside and they come back in, they may drag them in as well.”

The CDC suggests to check for ticks in and around your dog’s ears, around their tail, around their eyelids, under the collar, under their front legs, between their back legs, and between their toes.

If you want to keep these unwelcome visitors away from you, Brainard suggests sticking with long-sleeved clothing, wearing repellent, or you could even armor up with duct tape.

“I just saw the other day where someone said to take duct tape and put it backwards. Like so it’s sticky side out on your pants legs and that will collect the ticks and then they’re not as likely to climb up onto your clothes and get onto your body.”

If you do have an encounter with a tick, get some Dawn dish detergent or peppermint oil then rub it on the spot.

Brainard said, “...,and they don’t like that and that will make the start wiggling free and then you take the tweezers close to the skin because you want to get their head out and then you start gently pulling. You don’t want to tug on it...,”

It’s important you are proactive in checking for ticks because there’s a timeline to all this.

Brainard said, “If they’ve attached, you want them off within 72 hours because after 72 hours is when you have the possibility of getting Lyme Disease.”

Brainard said Lyme Disease is a disease that, if left untreated, can cause permanent damage.

Early symptoms include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes, or a rash, according to the CDC. The appearance of these rashes varies widely.

Ticks may be out but that doesn’t mean you can’t be. Just stay vigilant.

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