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Department of Health
Kari Reiber, MD, Acting Commissioner

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August 16, 2013        Print version


Prevention is the Best Protection Against Tick and Mosquito Borne Disease
Dutchess County Department of Health Partners with Dutchess County Fair to educate residents and visitors

Poughkeepsie... The Dutchess County Department of Health is partnering this summer with organizers of the 168th annual Dutchess County Fair to remind residents and visitors to protect themselves against tick- and mosquito-borne diseases by using insect repellent, wearing the proper clothing and checking themselves frequently when spending time outdoors.  The Department of Health will have posters located at key traffic areas throughout the fairgrounds reminding people to “Be Tick Free” and “Fight the Bite.” The posters will feature a QR code that can be scanned with smartphones to get more information from the Dutchess County website dutchessny.gov

Many people are aware ticks can carry Lyme disease.  However, ticks can also carry other potentially serious diseases including babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Powassan encephalitis. Likewise, mosquitoes can carry serious diseases such as West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and dengue fever.  With recent rainy weather, conditions are ideal for increased mosquito activity.  Ticks generally remain active as long as the temperature remains above 40 degrees.

“The Dutchess County Fair is a great opportunity to reach a large number of residents and visitors and remind them about the importance of tick and mosquito bite prevention,” said Kari Reiber, MD, Acting Commissioner of Health.   “The diseases carried by ticks and mosquitoes can be very serious and people need to be vigilant about protecting themselves.  Preventing bites is the best protection against these diseases.”The new posters are designed to get people to remember simple steps to prevent tick and mosquito bites and make these steps part of their everyday routine.  The safety tips recommended by the Dutchess County Department of Health to prevent tick-borne and mosquito-borne illnesses include:

•     Insect Repellent - Keep an EPA-approved repellent containing DEET or picaridin with you always.  Read labels carefully to make sure it works against both ticks and mosquitoes, follow instructions on how to apply, and pay particular attention to recommendations for use on children.

•     Clothing - Tuck pants into your socks and wear loose-fitting light-colored clothing to protect against mosquitoes when you are in a yard or wooded area to make it easier to spot ticks before they get onto your skin.

•     Tick Checks - Check yourself, your family and your pets for ticks frequently and soon after you come in from the outdoors.  Showering within two hours of returning inside can also help you find and remove ticks that may not yet have attached.

•     Know the Symptoms - Symptoms can be similar for both tick-borne and mosquito-borne illness, and can include fatigue, fever, headache, stiff neck, muscle and joint aches, or a rash.  If you develop these symptoms, do not delay seeking medical care.

•     Eliminate Breeding Grounds - Both ticks and mosquitoes thrive in moist and wet environments. Mow your grass short to lower moisture; clear brush and rake often to reduce leaf litter; drain water standing in containers such as flower pots, pet dishes, bird baths, discarded tires, and wading pool to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

For more information on how to protect yourself and your loved ones against tick- and mosquito-borne diseases, visit dutchessny.gov

 

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Kari Reiber, MD,Acting Commissioner Kari Reiber, MD
Acting Commissioner
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