It’s Tick Season, DHHS Wants You to Be Safe

This is a press release from the Department of Health and Human Services:

Photo of a Western Black-Legged Tick by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from Wikimedia Commons

Photo of a Western Black-Legged Tick from Wikimedia Commons | Taken by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

 

With tick season in full swing, the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services is reminding people to protect themselves and their animals against ticks.

The tiny, spider-like bugs attach themselves onto the skin of people and animals and feed on their blood. While many tick species are not harmful, there are some that transmit disease.

“It’s a good idea to take precautions against ticks year-around, but most important in the spring and summer months,” said DHHS Public Health Director Susan Buckley. “Many of us spend as much of the summer as we can participating in outdoor recreational activities, making exposure to ticks common.”

Only one tick found locally has the bacterium that causes Lyme disease—the western blacklegged tick.

“The only way to reduce the risk of contracting a tick-borne illness is by taking precautions against tick bites,” Buckley said.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following tips to stay tick-free this season:
  • Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter
  • Walk in the center of trails
  • Repel ticks with DEET or permethrin. Use repellents that contain 20 to30 percent DEET (N, N-diethyl- m-toluamide) on exposed skin and clothing for protection that lasts up to several hours. Always follow product instructions. Parents should apply this product to their
  • children, avoiding hands, eyes and mouth. Use products that contain permethrin on clothing. Treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents with products containing 0.5 percent permethrin. It remains protective through several washings. Pre-treated clothing is available and may be protective longer.
  • Find and remove ticks from your body
  •  Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.
  • Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body upon return from tick-infested areas. Parents should check their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist and especially in their hair.
  • Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats and day packs.

If you find a tick attached to your skin, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skins surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Do not jerk or twist it. Make sure the entire tick has been removed, including the head. Once the tick has been removed, clean the area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub or soap and water.

The Public Health Lab offers free tick identification. After removing a tick, if you want to know what type it is, place the entire thing in a sealed container or zip-close bag with a paper towel moistened with water.

If the tick is identified by lab staff as a western blacklegged tick, they can test it for Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, for a $40 fee.

The Public Health Lab is located at 529 I St. in Eureka. For more information about tick testing, call 707-268- 2179.

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7 comments

  • I have chronic persistent Lyme diesese,it’s horrible.for 6 months I was in bed couldn’t get up without throwing up,needed help to get up.i hurt everywhere.you have short term memory loss.it attacks your heart,liver,kidneys,joints,worst of all your brain.i felt like I was dying,I got treatment,felt better.one morning I decided to change everything I ate,and in a years time I dropped 80lbs and some of my symptoms.my body feels much better,I will always suffer from it,but now I can live with it.dont let it go be tested.i have had it over 14 yrs,7 of those I didn’t know!!

    • I have a friend that has been suffering from Lyme disease for 20+ years. While there is no cure, he’s treated his with colloidal silver to much effectiveness… Colloidal silvers medical benefits are debatable, but I’ve seen its effects first hand. My buddy is one of the hardest working guys I know despite the disease, which most people don’t realize is severely debilitating. Stay safe out there!

  • That doesn’t look like the western black legged tick, an image can be found here

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ixodes_pacificus

    • You’re right. I’m not sure what I was thinking. I knew that other one was a Deer Tick. I swapped it out for the one of the Western Black-legged Tick.

  • spirochetes r awful

    Yes lyme disease is an epidemic disease these days especially in the Pacific Northwest. 300,000 new cases a year and you can still find cases where doctors medical licenses are taken away for treating it. And insurance doesn’t cover treatment.

    There are also 5 co-infections that have been identified in our area, if you get tested for lyme definitely try to get tested for at least a few of those. Babeesia is the harshest one.
    Lyme is now found in 69 countries with different co-infections showing up in different places.
    Southern humboldt has a few lyme hotspots, meaning certain neighborhoods most everyone has it.
    Like how humboldt hill in northern hum is a cancer hot spot from the old nuclear plant.

    Ticks love tall grass habitat and our lack of burning those meadows like the native people did for hundreds if not thousands of years has come back to bite us, literally.

    Here is a link to information about free testing of ticks….

    http://www.bayarealyme.org/blog/bay-area-lyme-foundation-offers-free-tick-testing-nationwide/

    40 bucks a pop is crazy!

  • Permethrin is poison to cats

    Exposure to even small quantities of concentrated permethrin can cause severe and fatal poisoning in cats. After exposure to permethrin, signs of toxicity usually develop within a few hours, but in some cases can take one to three days to become apparent.

  • Lyme has been found in Deer ticks as well. Probably just that no studies on deer ticks have been done in this area.

    Dogs can get an annual Lyme vaccine. It’s around $32 per year plus office visit.

    Lyme disease can definitely be cured. Both the adult and the cyst (egg) stages need to be eradicated *at the same time* or it just becomes an endless cycling of antibiotics. I got rid of mine with a combo of Rocephin and Flagyl plus fluconazole for side effects. Gone. No, the disease is actually, really gone. Saying it’s uncurable is a medical system cop out because the treatment is intense and needs monitoring. Dr Clark, Humboldt’s only IDD, prescribed that for his patients before he died. It works.

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