Department of Health Reminds Residents of St. Joseph County to Stay Aware of Mosquito and Tick-borne Illnesses

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) – As we move into warmer weather, the risk of contracting mosquito and tick-borne diseases increases.

The St. Joseph County Health Department says we can’t forget to protect ourselves against EEE, West Nile virus and Lyme disease.

There are many different insect repellents you can choose from, and most of them do a great job of keeping ticks and mosquitoes away.

Brett Davis of the St. Joseph County Department of Health says this is the first line of defense between you and contracting EEE or West Nile virus.

“Both of these mosquito-borne diseases are easily combated by wearing insect repellent or eliminating the site. These are two ways that we can help educate the general public about these diseases and prevent them from spreading, ”St. Joseph County Asst. Director of Environmental Health.

Davis says that repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and lemon eucalyptus oil also work to repel ticks that could carry Lyme disease.

You’ve also heard him mention the term site elimination as a way to keep these bugs at bay.

“Because they breed in water and because they are so ubiquitous, they can actually breed in something as small as a soda bottle cap. They love to breed in piles of. tires, faulty septic tanks, wetlands and cattail swamps, ”Davis said.

Davis says draining old gutters, draining water from tires, flowerpots, or birdbaths, and fixing broken septic tanks are ways of eliminating breeding grounds for mosquitoes that carry the Nile virus. western.

You can defend yourself against ticks by wearing long sleeves and pants in wooded areas and applying insect repellant.

Even if you’re bitten, you can lower your risk of getting Lyme disease by removing the tick as soon as you spot it.

“Fortunately, ticks have to be attached to the body for several hours to transmit disease,” Davis said.

While it is alarming to hear these rare diseases exist in our region, the goal of the Department of Health roundtable is to educate our community so that we can avoid the tragedies that accompany these risks.

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