Summer is approaching and the Kewaunee County Public Health Department is working to increase awareness on Lyme disease by hanging up signs provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on local nature trails and at parks. The health department has seen a steady uptick in the tick-borne illness in recent years. The bacterial infection is often caused by a bite from a black-legged or deer tick.
The chances of being bitten by a tick in Northeast Wisconsin tend to rise from June to August, so it’s important to be proactive in prevention.
“The single best way to protect yourself is to use repellents with 20-30 percent DEET on exposed skin and clothing to prevent tick bites and check your skin frequently for ticks,” said Cindy Kinnard, RN, Director of Kewaunee County Public Health Department.
Kinnard suggests wearing light-colored clothing, so it is easier to spot ticks, and long instead of short sleeves, as well as pants instead of shorts. Also, if it is possible, try to avoid walking in wooded areas and tall grass.
If you find a tick on your body, Kinnard advises immediately removing the insect without causing major agitation; use a tweezer and grab the head and pull straight out without twisting.
For more information visit co.kewaunee.wi.gov/section.asp?linkid=2389&locid=194 and find the tab for the “Vectorborne Disease Toolkit.”