May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

There is a new initiative in New Hampshire, Tick Free NH (TickFreeNH.org), with a goal of educating everyone about the risk of being bitten by a tick and how to prevent tick encounters and tick bites.

May is Lyme disease awareness month. Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi ) and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks (aka the deer tick). Lyme disease can be debilitating if not identified very early and treated by antibiotics. Children ages two through 13 are at particular risk for tick encounters and contracting Lyme disease. In late Spring, nymph (baby tick) season starts - these nymphs are so tiny, they may appear to be a speck of dirt, like a poppy seed.

What are the top six things you can do to prevent a tick bite?
  1. Protect with permethrin (for shoes and clothing only, use as directed) or insect repellent with DEET (20-30%).
  2. Tuck your pants into your socks - don't let ticks crawl up your pants!
  3. Inspect yourself, children and pets when you come in from the out of doors - every time.
  4. Shower, do a tick check (with a mirror) and put your dry clothes directly into the dryer on high for 6-10 minutes.
  5. Remove all ticks immediately and properly (use a tick spoon or tweezers - don't twist, pull straight up). Wash site with alcohol.
  6. ID your tick, save in tape or plastic bag, and if you've been bitten visit a doctor.
The blacklegged tick can transmit Lyme disease in 24 hours and the Powassan virus in 15 minutes. Doing a tick check (on you and children) and showering after coming indoors are two of the best prevention methods you can add to your habits.black legged tick

Tick Free NH is an initiative supported by a New Hampshire funder, local businesses, and a group of New Hampshire public health, environmental health, and childcare professionals who share the mission of providing the most up to date information to New Hampshire residents about how to prevent tick encounters and protect themselves from tick bites.

Tick Free NH offers no-cost and low-cost resources for order or download. We encourage you to visit their website www.TickFreeNH.org and review the prevention information. You can order hard copies of their materials through the web site and online order form.

Contact them at: tickfreenh@gmail.com

Check out what they've done so far at www.TickFreeNH.org or find them on Facebook and Instagram.
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