Protecting Yourself From Ticks

by Josh Overholser on June 26, 2014 at 6:45 am

Tick season is upon us, and the Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department wants to make sure you are taking the proper precautions to protect yourself.

As ticks increase in numbers in our area, so does the risk of tick-borne diseases. Epidemiologist Kristen Baker said ticks can cause 11 different diseases in the United States, the most common being Lyme Disease.

"We have seen an increase in Lyme Disease over the past several years, and they think that’s due to the tick moving from the Atlantic coast to Pennsylvania and then now into Ohio," Baker said. "There’s actually some counties in Ohio where Lyme Disease has been demonstrated through studies and research that it’s endemic in that county."

Despite the rising concern, Baker said there are steps you can take to limit the risk of picking up ticks if you plan to be outdoors.

"Definitely wearing long sleeves and tucking your pants legs into your boots. Even though it’s hot, wearing long sleeves and long pants, and also putting your hair in a hat kind of protects you from getting ticks. Once you get home, you need to strip down as soon as possible, take a shower, and do a tick scan."

Baker said using DEET also works as a good repellent for ticks. If you have a tick, you should get a pair of tweezers and grab as close to the skin as possible. You should not heat the tick or squeeze it.