Tickborne Diseases - Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, Tularemia, and Anaplasmosis
Reducing exposure to ticks is the best defense against Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other tickborne infections. There are several approaches you and your family can use to prevent and control Lyme disease:
Initial Middlesex Tick Task Force Newspaper Article: Introducing the Task Force’s Mission and Goals
Spring is almost here ticks will soon appear in our woods, back yards, grassy areas, and trails, in full force searching for a blood meal from an animal or human. (This includes your pets.) Ticks can bite you and spread diseases like Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis (formerly human granulocytic ehrlichiosis or HGE), tularemia, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Residents of Middlesex County might know of a family member, friend, or neighbor who has been treated for a tickborne disease. Tickborne disease can impact an individual’s health, and it’s important to learn about the diseases, their symptoms, and ways in which you can protect yourself, loved ones, and pets in the coming months.
Staff members and residents from local Middlesex towns have been meeting since September 2012 to confront this public health issue and share ideas and resources regarding prevention of tickborne diseases. Known officially as the Middlesex Tick Task Force, representatives from Acton, Bedford, Carlisle, Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, Waltham, Wayland and Weston envision a mission to provide tickborne disease education to their residents. The group’s goals are to increase awareness of tick-borne diseases in our communities, educate residents about effective prevention measures, and promote inter-town collaboration about these diseases in Middlesex County. Each town involved has agreed to use media to deliver messages to promote awareness of tick borne diseases.
Recently, the task force agreed to publish a link to a publicly available report. The report is the result of efforts by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to establish a Special Commission to Conduct an Investigation and Study the Incidence and Impact of Lyme Disease. The Commission’s report, “Lyme Disease in Massachusetts” which was released on February 28, 2013 and is available at http://www.malegislature.gov/Content/Documents/Committees/H46/LymeDiseaseCommissionFinalReport-2013-02-28.pdf Please keep in mind, this report only provides a quick overview for Lyme Disease “one” of the many notable tickborne diseases.
The following are resources for information on tick-borne diseases:
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health: www.mass.gov/dph/tick
Center for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov/ticks/diseases/
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