Jefferson County residents asked to ‘spot a tick and share’ to help prevent disease
If you are bitten by a tick or discover one, the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness (LMPHW) is asking that you share it with us for identification purposes. LMPHW will use results to create a map of where ticks are being reported and develop outreach and education materials.
“The ‘Spot a Tick and Share Program’ is new to LMPHW. After further understanding the importance of tick-borne diseases we saw the need to further research and identify what types of ticks are prevalent in the Metro area to help keep the public safe,” said Connie Mendel, senior deputy director at LMPHW.
At many of Louisville Metro’s 120 parks, residents and visitors will find posters telling people to beware of ticks and explaining how they can submit a tick to LMPHW.
“I’d like to thank Metro Health and Wellness for their partnership on the tick program,” said Margaret Brosko, acting director of Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation. “Outdoor recreation, including hiking, peaks during the late spring in our parks and outdoor spaces. We want everyone to have fun and enjoy the great weather in our beautiful public parks, but at the same time, we want them to be mindful and check themselves for ticks during and after visiting.”
Ticks are small parasites more commonly found in wooded, brushy and grassy areas. However, people can be exposed to a tick in their own yard. Exposure to ticks can happen all year round, but they tend to be more active during warmer months. They can spread diseases to both dogs and people. Ticks can transmit a number of illnesses like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF).
“So far, we know the three most prevalent ticks in Jefferson County are the Lone Star tick, American Dog tick and Blacklegged tick,” Mendel said. “Our public health lab now has the capacity to inspect tick samples to identify any other types of ticks that are living in our area and make the public aware of what type of diseases they can spread.”
To submit a tick, place it in a small leak-proof container and cover the sample with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. Label the container with your name on it, along with this completed form and drop off the sample to LMPHW at 400 E. Gray St. Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Complete one form per tick or tick bite.
Here are the T-I-C-K rules of thumb:
- Take precautions and wear insect repellent
- Inspect your body for ticks and rashes after being outdoors
- Carefully remove the head and body of the tick
- Keep monitoring your health for fever, body aches and rashes and seek medical attention if they develop.
For more information about ticks, prevention tips and proper removal, visit LMPHW’s webpage.
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Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness (LMPHW) is a nationally accredited, independent, academic health department committed to achieving health equity and improving the health and well-being of all Louisville residents and visitors.