Kingston, N.Y. – Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan today announced a new countywide plan to combat tick-borne diseases. The plan, which is being implemented across multiple County departments and mediums, aims to inform Ulster County residents of the proper precautions they can take when participating in outdoor activities.
Last week, the Ulster County Department of Health confirmed that an Ulster County resident had passed away from the Powassan virus, a rare and often serious disease spread by an infected tick. Following this announcement, County Executive Pat Ryan directed the Health Commissioner and County departments to participate in this countywide plan to equip the public with the tools to prevent the spread of tick-borne diseases. The action is part of County Executive Ryan’s commitment to making County government more responsive and responsible.
“A primary responsibility of County government is to do everything necessary to protect its residents,” said County Executive Ryan. “I have called for a 100 percent commitment across all departments to ensure the prevention of tick-borne illnesses is a top priority.”
This countywide action will include:
- Production of new tick-related materials for distribution from the Ulster County Department of Health;
- Brochure distribution on Ulster County Area Transit (UCAT) buses;
- Prevention materials included as a part of the Ulster County Department of the Environment’s Bring Your Own Bag Act promotion;
- Sign postings displaying tick-borne disease prevention tips on newly developed trail networks across the County;
- Distribution of signs and materials to retailers and businesses related to outdoor activities;
- An expansive multimedia public service awareness campaign including on-air promotions on radio stations throughout the County and on Ulster County Government social media channels.
The recommended precautions which are being conveyed to residents include:
- Staying on clear well-travelled paths.
- Covering up and use of insect repellents containing DEET for skin applications and Permethrin for clothing and shoes.
- Wearing light colored clothing to spot ticks easily.
- Tucking pants into socks.
- Keeping the grass around your home clear and trimmed.
- Showering as soon as possible after spending time outdoors.
- Consulting your veterinarian about treating your dog or cat with tick-killing pesticides (acaricides) or using tick repellent collars.
- Checking everyone, including pets, frequently and at the end of each day, and removing all ticks promptly and properly.
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