Beware of Lyme!

 

 

As the sun returns just in time for lazing about Foss Hill this weekend, director of WesWell Tanya Purdy sends us this reminder to beware of vampires:

WATCH OUT!!!!

Well, it’s that time of year. Ticks are everywhere, waiting for a fresh meal (think vampires in miniature…). These bloodsuckers can carry Lyme disease and other nasty tick-borne illnesses, so get in the habit of checking yourselves daily for these little guys that tend to hide in all of those places that are dark and warm and out of sight. Better yet, ask someone else to check those places for you (kidding–sorta)!

For those of you new to New England, Lyme disease is pervasive here, and ticks live in grassy areas, in the woods, in leaf piles and everywhere that deer and small animals wander. For those of you who hail from east of the Mississippi, you should know the drill by now– but that doesn’t mean you can’t be reminded. Ticks live and feed until the first frost, then rear their disgusting little mouths again in the spring—we’ll be sure to send you a reminder then too.

In the meantime, if you find a tick that is attached, the safest way to remove a tick is with sharp tweezers; resist the urge to grab it with your fingers, and carefully use the tweezers to grab the tick as close as you can to its mouth and quickly pull straight up. Do not smother or use matches, as this can cause the little buggers to regurgitate harmful bacteria. Flush the tick down a toilet (to make sure it doesn’t find someone else), and clean the area with alcohol and antibiotic cream. If you develop a rash, headaches or flu-like symptoms at any time over the next several weeks, go to the Health Center and tell them that you have been exposed to a feeding tick and ask them to test you for Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is very treatable with antibiotics in the early stages, so stay vigilant. For more information about Lyme disease and other tick-borne illness, contact Tanya Purdy at WesWell or visit these sites: