Galef Letter to the Editor on Lyme Disease prevention

To the Editor: As we find ourselves moving farther into the summer, many of us are outside enjoying the weather with friends and family. Living in New York, this means an abundance of opportunities to garden, tour, hike and explore the vast and beautiful landscapes this state has to offer. However, during our time of rest and relaxation, we often forget that we share these natural wonders with deer ticks which can carry Lyme and other tick borne disease. A bacterial infection which both people and pets can catch, Lyme disease often lives within deer ticks found in wooded areas, and even in one’s own backyard. Recent temperature changes have also been linked to an increase in tick population, adding to the risk. Fortunately, there are simple steps we can all take to help avoid contracting the disease, all while still enjoying all the outdoors has to offer. Wearing light colored, long sleeve shirts or pants will not only significantly decrease the risk of a tick attaching itself to a person, but also allow you to easily spot it should it make contact with your clothing. Keep grass cut short to minimize the risk in one’s own backyard. Also be sure that you check yourselves after coming back from trips outdoors, particularly from grassy or wooded environments. You can also find repellants which are designed to specifically ward off ticks, adding further protection. While Lyme disease is easily treatable when caught early on, it is important to know what types of symptoms to be on the lookout for. If you notice a circular rash which expands over time or begin to feel joint pain, fever chills, fatigue, tingling or numbness of your limbs, it is important to see your doctor immediately. For further information on Lyme disease and how to prevent it, I encourage everyone to visit the websites of The Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or please contact my office at (914) 941-111 to get a copy of my latest cable show about Lyme disease prevention. Sincerely,
Sandy Galef
NYS Assemblywoman – 95th AD
(914) 450-4086
(914) 941-1111