Offers Free “Tick Watch” Bracelets to Children
Catholic Medical Center is offering free children’s snap bracelets that feature actual size depictions of ticks to the public. The bracelets, which are helping to kick off “Tick Awareness Week” can help people identify blacklegged ticks, known to pose significant health risks.
Earlier today, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas declared July 27, 2015-July 31, 2015 Tick Awareness Week.
“It’s an honor for the city to partner with CMC on this awareness campaign. Tickborne disease, especially Lyme disease, is something that affects a lot of people not only in Manchester but all over our county and state,” said Manchester Health Department Director Timothy Soucy after the mayoral proclamation was read. “We are pleased to help get the word out that we can prevent tickborne diseases.”
“The bracelets show children and parents what to look for during a nightly tick check,” said Eric Sheff, MPA/HA, executive director of CMC Primary Care. “It also helps them identify whether it is a type known for tickborne illnesses.”
The plastic reflective band called a “tick watch” features two types of ticks—the blacklegged tick and the American dog tick. It is the blacklegged tick, also called the deer tick, which can transmit several illnesses to humans including Lyme disease.
Tick season is far from over and adult sized ticks, which are most likely to spread illness, are most active in the fall. Full-grown ticks commonly seek a larger host such as a human or deer. Adult ticks are also most likely to be carrying bacteria or other organisms they contracted earlier in life while feeding on smaller mammals, rodents, and birds. Up to 60 percent of adult ticks carry the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
The longer the tick has been on the host, the higher the risk of infection. “If you are a child or an adult, with a deer tick attached for 36 or more hours, than you are likely at risk for tickborne illness,” according to Sarah Bragdon, APRN, who treats tick bites at CMC Urgent Care in Bedford. “If bites are evaluated inside of 72 hours, antibiotics may be prescribed to help adults reduce the risk of tickborne illnesses.”
Lyme disease, the most common tickborne illness, has increased dramatically in New Hampshire. From 2008 – 2012 the Granite State had the highest rate of Lyme disease in the country. Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that in 2013 New Hampshire had the second highest incidence rate of confirmed cases of Lyme disease after Vermont.
CMC will post information on tick bite prevention on its Facebook and Twitter accounts this week. To pick up a free tick snap bracelet find the nearest CMC location nearest you.
Pictured above: Manchester Health Department's Director Timothy Soucy, MPH, REHS, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas and CMC's Chief Medical officer & Vice President of Medical Affairs William Goodman, MD, MPH, FCCP. The tick watch is shown in pink and orange, but also comes in silver and yellow.