TIOGA COUNTY, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Today, the Tioga County Public Health Department released a warning about Lyme Disease and how it can be avoided.

“With the arrival of warm weather, ticks are out there and can make their way to infect people or animals with Lyme disease,” said the health department. 30 residents of Tioga County were reportedly diagnosed with Lyme Disease in 2019 and the health department believes that number could be even higher as many cases go undetected.

Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection that is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected deer ticks. Symptoms usually develop within three to 30 days after being bitten and may include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain.

The health department stresses the importance of getting early treatment if you are bitten by a tick. Early treatment and the use of antibiotics almost always results in a full recovery.

Here of some tips from the Tioga County Public Health Department on how to protect yourself from ticks:

  • Avoid grassy, brushy, or wooded areas with high leaf and grass litter – If you are out in these areas, wear long-sleeved, light-colored clothing especially in highly wooded areas, ad walk in the center of trails.
  • Treat boots, camping gear, and clothing with products containing 0.5% permethrin – Permethrin is an insecticide in the pyrethroid family. Pyrethroids are synthetic chemicals that act like natural extracts from the chrysanthemum flower.
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, registered by the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Examine pets, clothing, and gear for ticks.
  • Carefully check your body for ticks and immediately shower after coming indoors.

If you have been bitten by a tick, remove it as soon as possible. After removal, clean the area with rubbing alcohol, soap, and water. If you are experiencing any symptoms you should contact your primary health provider.