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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 20, 2019
JACKSON COUNTY, Mich. –The Jackson County Health Department is encouraging all residents of Jackson County to take precautions when spending time outside to help prevent Lyme disease. This includes dogs and cats, as they are also vulnerable to Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. The blacklegged tick is known to dwell within Michigan forested areas. Lyme disease has been reported in 43 states including Michigan and the coastal counties of Lake Michigan and the western Upper Peninsula have been seeing the highest number of Lyme disease cases over the last several years. This area of higher incidence continues to steadily spread eastward and Jackson County is now adjacent to multiple counties with confirmed Lyme Disease. No confirmed cases of Lyme Disease were reported for Jackson County in 2018. See the following map link for more detail concerning geographic risk: https://www.michigan.gov/images/emergingdiseases/2015_Lyme_Risk_Map_485658_7.jpg
It is very important to seek medical evaluation and treatment if one suspects they have been exposed to tick bites and are experiencing symptoms of Lyme disease. Diagnosis of Lyme disease is made through a combination of symptoms and your potential exposure to a tick bite. If symptoms are left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.
It is always best to avoid the source of Lyme disease, blacklegged ticks, by taking precautions when you are in their habitat by:
Here are some simple landscaping techniques found in the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station guidebook that can help reduce tick populations:
The following information is good practice and is provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services:
Contact the Jackson County Communicable Disease department at 517-788-4619 to inquire about submitting the tick for testing.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Michigan Lyme Disease Association
Centers for Disease Control
Press Release by:
Mary Farmer, Sanitarian Environmental Health Division