What to do if you find ticks

MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Experts said a warm winter has led them to expect that ticks will be especially widespread this year. But as fears o f Lyme disease persist, it’s important to not panic and take precaution.

“Certainly we’re seeing more and more ticks,” said Dr. Harry Kipperman, with Milford Pediatric Group. “We’ve already seen several patients with tick bites this year.”

Nearly half of the ticks found in our area contain Lyme disease. But instead of panicking, the main message from experts is prevention…

–Make sure you and your children spray on insect repellent.
–Avoid areas of heavy brush, especially if it’s waist high or above.
–And when you get home, check your body and your children for ticks, focusing on areas where they can hide.

“Paying special attention to creases in the skin under, under the arms, in the groin, behind the ears,” Dr. Kipperman said. “Looking at the scalp closely.”

If you happen to find one on your skin, grab some tweezers and gently grasp it, but make sure not to crush it.

“If they haven’t been in very long you can very gently remove them,” Dr. Kipperman said. “You don’t want to aggravate the tick very much. Don’t want to squeeze it much. Don’t want to put various substances.”

If infected, after a couple days you’ll notice a red ring with a clear center. Feelings of joint pain may also persist. Both symptoms are usually associated with Lyme disease. But even in that case, doctors are confident that routine antibiotic treatment is all that’s needed.

“Nothing is 100 percent and certainly there are people who have complications or more difficulty.” Dr. Kipperman said. “But by and large it’s a disease that’s fairly easily treatable.”

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