Due to the mild winter, our region has begun to see an increase in ticks spreading Lyme disease, a trend that will likely continue through the fall. Outdoor activities lead to a higher risk of exposure to tick-borne infections such as Lyme disease. It is important to take precautions to prevent the disease during all occupational and non-occupational outdoor activities. The CDC and OSHA are excellent resources for information on preventing Lyme disease.
The first line of defense against Lyme disease is decreasing the probability of tick bites. OSHA has provided the following guidelines to prevent tick-human contact:
- Avoidance of tick habitat (brushy, overgrown grassy, and woody areas) particularly in spring and early summer when young ticks feed.
- Removal of leaves, tall grass, and brush from areas around work areas or residential areas to decrease tick as well as host (deer and rodent) habitat.
- Application of tick-toxic chemicals to surrounding work or residential areas in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations and community standards. Personal Protection
- Wearing light-colored clothing (to more easily see ticks).
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts, tucking pant legs into socks or boots (delays ticks from reaching skin so they can be more easily found before attaching).
- Wearing high boots or closed shoes covering entire foot.
- Wearing a hat.
- Using appropriate insect repellants on non-facial skin and permethrin on clothes (kills ticks) in accordance with Environmental
- Showering and washing/drying clothes at high temperature after outdoor exposure.
- Doing a careful body check for ticks, prompt removal with tweezers and skin cleansing with antiseptic.
Those who are at increased risk for Lyme disease should obtain medical advice regarding the applicability of the Lyme disease vaccine; those who have symptoms of suspected tick-borne infection should seek medical attention early.
If you have any questions or would like more information, contact me at email@example.com or 410.769.6498.