The Clark County Combined Health District (CCCHD) is confirming the season’s first case of Lyme disease for a Clark County resident. Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick (also known as a deer tick) and affects both humans and dogs. There is no direct transmission from person-to-person or dog-to-person.
The blacklegged tick is found throughout the state of Ohio and can also occasionally transmit anaplasmosis and babesiosis. Tickborne diseases can result in mild symptoms or more severe infections. In the majority of cases, Lyme disease can be treated with oral antibiotics. Only six confirmed cases have been recorded for Clark County since 2007.
In the state of Ohio, Lyme disease usually occurs between early spring and late fall, when ticks are most active. Ticks must be attached for 24 hours or more to allow for the transmission of Lyme disease. The illness often starts as a circular red rash around or near the tick bite. If untreated, the disease can spread to other parts of the body within a few days to weeks. Symptoms include rash, fever, headache, fatigue and arthritis. Seek medical attention if you have a confirmed tick bite and experience any of the above symptoms.
There is no vaccine to prevent Lyme disease. The best way to prevent tickborne illnesses is to protect yourself and your family from tick bites. Here’s how:
- Avoid areas where ticks live (wooded and brushy areas, high grass)
- Use EPA-registered tick repellents
- Cover up to keep ticks off the body (hats, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, tuck in pant legs and shirts)
- Check your whole body (and your family’s) for ticks
- Remove ticks as soon as possible
- Watch for symptoms after a confirmed tick bite