March 31, 2016
Meghan May, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical sciences in the University of New England’s College of Osteopathic Medicine shared recent statistics of disease-infected ticks with WCSH. According to May, an infectious disease expert, the latest studies have found that 1 in 3 ticks in the northeast are infected with Lyme disease. That number is up from 1 in 4 in 2015.
May offered advice on how to avoid contact with ticks and what to do if you find one on your body. The Centers for Disease Control recommend using repellents containing 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin and products that contain permethrin on clothing. May said natural products can also be affective, but it’s important to read instructions carefully and apply more often than other repellants. To remove a tick, pull upward with steady, even pressure without twisting or jerking the tick, because that increases the chance of infection.