Posted May 4, 2010


Ulster County Executive Mike Hein Urges Everyone to Be Tick FreeWhen Enjoying Outdoor Activities


Ulster County - During the warmer months, most Ulster County residents cannot wait to leave the house and spend time outdoors. Many tourists also travel to Ulster County to enjoy the areas natural beauty. However, because of the risk of tick-borne illnesses - including Lyme Disease - it is crucial that everyone learn to be tick-free. To accomplish this goal, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and the Ulster County Department of Health are working hard to raise awareness of tick-borne diseases and the importance of prevention.

A little bit of prevention can help residents and visitors safely enjoy all of the magnificent parks, trails, wilderness areas and outdoor activities in Ulster County,said County Executive Mike Hein. I encourage everyone to take note of, and practice the guidelines outlined by our Health Department.

In addition to Lyme disease, infected ticks can transmit diseases including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis and ehrlichiosis. The effects of these diseases can be severe. Generally, if you remove an attached deer tick within 36 hours, the risk of Lyme Disease infection is greatly reduced. Tick Prevention and Removal Guidelines:

·In wooded and grassy areas, wear light-colored clothing (to spot ticks better) and tuck pants into socks and shirt into pants.

·Every two to three hours outdoorscheck for ticks on clothing or skin. Brush off any ticks on clothing before they attach to your skin.

·Do a thorough tick check of your entire body at the end of the day. Pay particular attention to the back of the knees, behind the ears, the scalp, the arm pits and your back. Check your kids and pets too.

·To remove a tick: Using tweezers, grasp the tick near the mouthparts, as close to the skin as possible. Pull the tick in a steady, upward motion away from the skin. Dont squeeze, crush or puncture the body of the tick, which may contain infectious fluids.

·After removing the tick, disinfect the bite area with soap, rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Wash your hands carefully. Record the date and location of the tick bite. If a rash appears or if you experience flu-like symptoms over the next 30 days, contact your health care provider immediately.

·Consider using insect repellents to reduce tick bites. Follow label instructions carefully. Use repellents only in small amounts and avoid unnecessary repeat applications. Do not apply near eyes, nose or mouth and use sparingly around ears. Children may be at greater risk for reactions to repellents, in part because their exposure may be greater. Do not apply repellents directly to children. Apply to your own hands and then put it on the child. Do not apply to the hands of small children.

To learn more about tick checks, how to remove a tick, tick identification, and symptoms of tickborne diseases, call the Ulster County Department of Health at (845) 334-5527 or visit online at