May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Suffolk County
In 2007, Suffolk
County Executive Steve Levy signed a resolution introduced by Legislators
Romaine and Schneiderman that designates May as “Lyme Disease Awareness Month” in
Lyme disease is a serious
tick-borne illness, which is endemic in
and is a nationally recognized health problem.
It strikes people of all ages, making the need for research and public
information regarding its origin, prevention, treatment and control a priority
among medical professionals.
Lyme disease is caused by the
bite of an infected blacklegged tick (deer tick). Ticks become active once the
daytime temperature/weather stays above freezing (even if it still below
freezing at night.) In tick prone
areas, any contact with vegetation, even playing in the yard, can result in
exposure to ticks.
The most noticeable sign of Lyme disease is a rash
resembling a bull’s-eye, or solid patch, which usually, but not always,
develops between 3 and 30 days after the tick bite.
The rash often expands over time and can last for several weeks.
In some cases, no rash appears, while in other cases, there are multiple
rashes. The rash does not normally
itch or feel painful.
Other symptoms of early
Lyme disease include fever, fatigue, headache, stiff neck, muscle aches and
joint pain. If you notice these
signs or symptoms, consult a health care provider immediately.
Dr. Chaudhry D.O., M.S,
Commissioner of Suffolk County Department of Health Services said, “One of
the most effective ways to avoid Lyme disease is to check your body for ticks at
the end of each day. Check your
entire body, paying particular attention to the backs of knees, groin area,
behind the ears, the scalp area, armpits and your back.”
For more information contact the
county’s Division of Public Health at (631) 853-3055 or go to the
county health department’s website www.suffolkcountyny.gov/health.
You can also visit the New York State Department of Health’s website at www.health.state.ny.us,
which can be accessed from the