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Early testing can help in prevening insect borne illnesses

As you go outside in the warmer weather, make sure you’re armed with bug spray! Here in our area and throughout the country, we’re seeing a bigger threat than ever before for diseases transmitted by insects such as Lyme Disease.  That’s why local families are rushing to a local lab for blood tests that detect infection from a tick before symptoms even surface.

This after The Centers for Disease Control just released a first of its kind study on insect borne illnesses showing cases of these diseases have tripled over the last 13 years. One CDC expert says we’re seeing an astronomical rise in the number of cases of Lyme Disease, plus a jump in Zika cases and a new tickborne disease called Heartland Virus.

Any Lab Test Now, a local blood testing clinic, tests blood for tickborne infection and can TEST THE ACTUAL TICK if you bring it in.  The entire process takes less than 15 minutes.

Why are insect borne illnesses like Lyme Disease on the Rise?

• It’s no longer a regional illness. The recent CDC report  shows diseases from tick bites have been reported in every state.

• The study found more people are at risk because infected travelers spread the germs plus commerce moves mosquitoes, ticks and fleas around the world.

• The report shows more than 80% of the organizations created to control ticks and other insects need help with surveillance and testing to control the disease.

• State and local health departments are not equipped will all the tools needed to detect and treat infected people.

Why the Rush for Early Testing?

• When a tick latches onto your skin it takes 24-48 hours to transmit Lyme Disease to you.

• If Lyme is detected, you can talk with your doctor about treatment before you experience symptoms.   According to the CDC, people treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of the disease usually recover rapidly and completely.

• If left untreated, you can develop a painful kind of arthritis, as well as heart, brain and nerve problems.

How to Prevent Tick Bites? 

• Cover up. When in wooded or grassy areas, wear shoes, long pants tucked into your socks, a long-sleeved shirt, a hat and gloves. Try to stick to trails and avoid walking through low bushes and long grass. Keep your dog on a leash.

• Use insect repellents. Apply insect repellent with a 20 percent or higher concentration of DEET to your skin. Parents should apply repellent to their children, avoiding their hands, eyes and mouth. Apply products with permethrin to clothing or buy pretreated clothing.

• Try to Tick-proof your yard. Clear brush and leaves where ticks live. Keep woodpiles in sunny areas.

• Check yourself, your children and your pets for ticks. Be especially vigilant after spending time in wooded or grassy areas. Deer ticks are often no bigger than the head of a pin, so you may not discover them unless you search carefully.

• It’s helpful to shower as soon as you come indoors. Ticks often remain on your skin for hours before attaching themselves. Showering and using a washcloth might remove unattached ticks.

• Don’t assume you’re immune. You can get Lyme disease more than once.

• Remove a tick as soon as possible.  Using tweezers gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth. Don’t squeeze or crush the tick but pull carefully and steadily. Once you’ve removed the entire tick, dispose of it and apply antiseptic to the bite area.

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