Urban Dwellers Also Vulnerable to Ticks

New York City residents need to protect themselves against carriers of Lyme disease

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FRIDAY, Aug. 6, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Even New York City residents need to protect themselves against ticks and tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease.

"While most tick-borne illness among New Yorkers is contracted in the grassy, wooded areas outside of the five boroughs, ticks are present in the city. There are many simple steps to help prevent tick-borne illness, including wearing long sleeves and socks when outdoors, as well as wearing an insect repellant containing DEET," Dr. Thomas Frieden, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said in a prepared statement.

Frieden offered the following advice:

  • Check for ticks after returning from wooded areas. Remove any ticks you find. Use tweezers or fingers to grasp them as close to the skin surface as possible and pull up on the tick with slow, even pressure. Thoroughly wash the area of the tick bite to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Avoid walking in heavily wooded areas. Try to remain on cleared paths.
  • Wear light-colored clothing so that you can more easily spot ticks on your clothing.
  • Tuck your pant legs into your socks to prevent ticks from crawling up the inside of your pant legs. Wear long-sleeved shirts.
  • Use DEET-containing repellants.
  • Remove leaf litter and debris around your home to reduce the likelihood of ticks.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about Lyme disease.

SOURCE: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, news release, July 2004

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