DPH Launches Lyme Disease Awareness Campaign - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DPH Launches Lyme Disease Awareness Campaign

Posted: May 04, 2018 3:28 PM Updated:

DOVER, Del.- The Delaware Division of Public Health is warning people that with warm weather comes ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and increased chances of vector-borne diseases. 

"While we want everyone to get outside and enjoy the weather, taking advantage of additional opportunities for family time and exercise, we also hope each person takes the proper precautions to protect themselves and others, especially children, as well as pets from the diseases that can potentially come with insect bites,” DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said.

According to data recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016, Delaware reported 545 cases of tick borne diseases and 35 cases of mosquito borne diseases. The CDC listed Lyme disease as the state’s top tick borne disease, accounting for 93 percent (506) of the cases.

DPH recently finalized its 2017 data and is reporting 608 cases of Lyme disease last year, an increase of more than 100 cases since 2016. The CDC believes that the actual number of Lyme disease cases nationwide is 10 times higher than what is reported to doctors or state and county health departments.

Since May is also Lyme Disease Awareness Month, DPH has launched a campaign titled, "BLAST Lyme Disease," based off of a program in Ridgefield, Connecticut. The "BLAST" acronym reminds people of five steps to take to protect themselves or their pets from the disease:

  • Bathe or shower within two hours of coming indoors
  • Look for ticks on you body and remove them
  • Apply repellent to your body and clothes
  • Spray your yard
  • Treat your pet 

Lyme disease is frequently characterized by an expanding red rash, commonly referred to as a “bull’s eye rash.” Rashes can occur anywhere on the body and vary in size and shape. The rash can be warm to the touch, but usually not painful or itchy. Other symptoms include fever and or chills, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and headaches, DPH said. 


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