Lyme Disease on the Increase in Tompkins County

Sandra Repp sjr37 at
Fri Jul 1 11:04:37 EDT 2011

The Tompkins County Health Department has 
released the following advisory concerning the 
numbers of Lyme Disease cases occurring 
here.  Their web site: 
has additional information, as does the 
CCE-Tompkins site at: .

Tompkins County Health Department
Frank Kruppa – Public Health Director


For more information contact: Karen Bishop at 
274-6604 or Theresa Lyczko at 274-6714

June 30, 2011 (Ithaca, NY) – The number of Lyme 
Disease cases haas steadily increased in Tompkins 
County since 2006 the Tompkins County Health 
Department reports. Karen Bishop, Community 
Health Nurse Supervisor noted that in 2006 there 
were 2 cases; in 2010 there were 70 with a steady 
increase in the interim. "In the past, Tompkins 
County residents who had Lyme Disease usually 
acquired it while traveling in other areas of the 
state or country. Now most of the cases are 
locally acquired," she said. In 2011 to date 
there have been 14 cases of Lyme Disease and 28 
are probable cases pending confirmation. "That is 
a serious increase," Mrs. Bishop noted. "Lyme 
Disease is here and everyone should take the 
necessary precautions to prevent it."

Tick-borne diseases are a serious health threat. 
Lyme disease may affect the skin, nervous system, 
heart and joints.  If not treated early, it can 
have permanent and severe health effects.

"Lyme disease is caused by the bite of an 
infected deer tick. In some areas, any contact 
with plants or bushes, even in the backyard, has 
the risk of contact with ticks," Mrs. Bishop said.

She urged all Tompkins County residents to remember:
    * When in wooded and grassy areas, wear 
light-colored clothing and tuck pants into socks and shirts into pants.
    * After every two to three hours outdoors, 
check for ticks on clothing or skin. Brush off 
any ticks on clothing before they can attach to your skin.
    * Do a thorough check of your body at the end 
of the day.  Pay close attention to the back of 
the knees, behind the ears, scalp, arm pits and 
back. Check your children and pets, too.
    * If you remove an attached tick within 36 
hours, the risk of infection is small. To remove 
a tick: Use tweezers, grasping the tick near the 
mouthparts, as close to the skin as possible. 
Don't squeeze, crush or puncture the body of the 
tick, which may contain infectious fluids. Pull 
the tick in a steady, upward motion away from the 
skin. After removing the tick, disinfect the bite 
site with soap, rubbing alcohol or hydrogen 
peroxide. Wash your hands carefully. Record the 
date and location of the tick bite. If a rash 
appears or you experience flu-like symptoms over 
the next 30 days, contact your health care 
provider immediately. As of July 1, the New York 
State Health Department is no longer providing a tick identification service.
    * If you consider using repellents be sure to 
follow label directions.  Do not allow children 
to apply repellents themselves.  Use only small 
amounts of repellent on children.looks like and how to remove it.

To learn more about Lyme disease, call the 
Tompkins County Health Department at 274-6604 or 
visit the Department's website: 
You'll see what a tick looks like and how to remove it! 
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