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From the Weston Emergency Reserve Corps
One of our objectives on the WERC is to raise awareness of community health risks. This time of year the tick population booms, putting tick-borne diseases on top of the list.
1. Be Aware - It's important to understand that ticks are everywhere in New England, including woods and swamps, fields and yards. After being dormant throughout the cold winter months, ticks can crawl just about everywhere, hatching and growing, and they are hungry. Typically, as the weather warms up over 40F, ticks position themselves on twigs, sprigs of grass, or on branches near the ground, then latch onto any warm-blooded passer-by: mice, birds, rabbits, coyote, deer, and pets and people, too.
2. Look Closely - The best way to avoid the irritation or infection from tick bites is to prevent them from attaching to the skin. After being outside, look for them crawling on clothing, and plan a full-body check at the end of the day. If you find a tick, don't panic, just remove it and dispose of it so it doesn't come back. If it is attached, use tweezers or a tick removal tool to make sure to get the whole tick, including its mouth-parts.
3. Be Informed - Besides being pests, ticks often carry bacteria and other pathogens that can introduce serious, difficult to diagnose diseases requiring medical attention. Lyme disease is the most common of several tick-borne diseases in our area. Usually, these diseases can be controlled with antibiotics, but prompt attention to symptoms and timely medical attention is important for recovery.- visit the Center for Disease Control for general information and advice: www.cdc.gov/ticks
- check out the searchable database of tick-borne illnesses: www.tickreport.com/stats
- Weston is a part of the Middlesex Tick Task Force, follow the link below for more information on ticks and tick-borne illnesses