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Posted on: May 11, 2017

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Loudoun

Image of black-legged deer tick
With the arrival of spring, Loudoun County health officials remind residents that this is the time of year to increase their vigilance when it comes to checking for ticks that carry Lyme and other diseases. 

“Our mild winter and wet spring have created ideal conditions for ticks to breed and thus increase the opportunity for people to become infected with Lyme, so we encourage everyone to stay safe by taking common-sense precautions,” said Dr. David Goodfriend, Loudoun County Health Department Director. 

Loudoun County residents can decrease their risk of acquiring Lyme and other tick-borne diseases when spending time in tick habitats by:
  • Applying tick repellent to exposed areas of the body and to clothing that may come into contact with grass or brush;
  • Wearing light-colored clothing so that ticks are easier to see and remove; 
  • Tucking pant legs into socks or boots and tucking shirts into pants; 
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts buttoned to the wrist; 
  • Conducting a tick check on themselves and their children upon return from potentially tick-infested areas and promptly removing any ticks; 
  • Taking a bath or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors; and
  • Seeking medical evaluation if they notice a bull's eye or other unusual rash, or if they display flu-like symptoms.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has declared May as “Lyme Disease Awareness Month” in the county. The Board’s proclamation points out that in 2016, 179 Lyme disease cases were reported in Loudoun County, and while that is a decrease from the 209 cases reported in Loudoun in 2015, it represents 13 percent of the confirmed or probable Lyme disease cases in Virginia last year.  The proclamation also notes that the Loudoun Lyme Disease Commission has worked to implement the 10-Point Plan to Mitigate Lyme Disease in Loudoun County adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 2012.  

More information about preventing Lyme disease is online at www.loudoun.gov/lyme.

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