Discussion in 'Lyme Disease Archives' started by victoria, May 2, 2006.

  1. victoria

    victoria New Member

    This is really important - please pass this on to EVERYONE you know who lives in Georgia! Please follow the instructions on how to remove attached ticks and where to send them!

    The Blade Plus
    Swainsboro GA
    April 17, 2006

    Department of Human Resources continues tick attach study

    In an effort to better understand ticks and the diseases they can transmit to humans, the Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) Division of Public Health is working with the University of Georgia and the Georgia Poison Center to continue a study which will help identify areas in Georgia where the chances of getting sick from a tick bite are the greatest. S

    ince the Tick Attach Study began in the spring of 2005, over 360 people from around the state have submitted ticks for testing. DHR is asking that the public continue to send in attached ticks through the fall of 2006.

    "Anyone who finds an attached tick should call the Georgia Poison Center at 404-616-9000 or 1800-222-1222 for information about how to remove the tick and instructions on how to mail it to us," said Stuart Brown, M.D., director of the DHR Division of Public Health.

    "The more ticks we receive, the greater our opportunity to learn where ticks are biting people in Georgia and if they are carrying disease-causing organisms."

    People who submit ticks for testing will receive a phone call from the health department within three weeks asking about their exposure to tick habitats and whether they have developed any symptoms of a tick-borne illness.

    Brown added that only ticks that have been attached to humans should be submitted.

    There are hundreds of species of ticks but only a few commonly bite humans in Georgia: the American dog tick, the lone star tick and the black-legged tick. These three species can carry diseases that are harmful to humans, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, human monocytic ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), and tularemia.

    Most cases of tick-borne disease in Georgia occur between April and September, but infection can occur year round.

    "Although each disease has unique characteristics, the symptoms of tick-borne disease generally occur anywhere from three days to four weeks after being bitten and may include fever, rash, headache, and muscle pain," said Brown.

    "Not everyone develops all of these symptoms. Other symptoms, such as nausea, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and weakness can also occur."

    Ticks are commonly found in shady areas, moist ground litter, tall grass, brush, low tree branches, and along trails in the woods. They can also be found in backyards that border woody areas.

    To properly remove a tick, grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible with fine-tipped tweezers. Slowly pull the tick straight out.

    Wash and treat the bite area with a disinfectant. DO NOT squeeze the tick, twist the tick, light the tick on fire, or cover the tick in petroleum jelly, nail polish, alcohol, or kerosene. These "home remedies" may increase the chances of developing a tick-borne illness.

    Save the tick in rubbing alcohol and call the Georgia Poison Center at 404-616-9000 or 1-800-2221222 for information about tick identification and testing.

    There are several things you can do to avoid being bitten by a tick:
    - On your skin, wear insect repellent containing DEET.
    - On your clothes (but not your skin), wear insect repellent containing
    - Tuck pants into socks and shirt into pants so ticks can't crawl up
    pants legs.
    - Wear light-colored clothing so ticks can be seen easily and removed.
    - Wear a hat and pull long hair back.
    - Do tick checks frequently during the day and a full-body tick check at the end of the day. Use a mirror and check behind ears, behind knees, under arms, and in the groin area. Ask someone to help you check your back and scalp, especially the nape of the neck. Take a shower and wash
    your hair before going to bed.
    - Do not sit directly on the ground-use a blanket or towel.
    - Remove excess brush and keep grass mowed around the house.