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Rensselaer County warns of increase of tick borne illness

TROY - The Rensselaer County Health Department is warning residents to take precautions to prevent exposure to a tick borne illness.

The Health Department is reporting an increase in the number of cases of Anaplasmosis in Renssalaer County.  In 2010 six cases were reported, which has increased to 73 so far in 2013.

Anaplasmosis is a bacterial infection, like Lyme disease, is caused by the bite of an infected tick.  Symptoms can appear after 1-2 weeks after the bite.

The Health Department also warns that a tick can spread Anaplasmosis and Lyme disease, as well as Babesiosis.  Infection leads to flu-like symptoms, including: fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, chills, nausea, cough, confusion and rarely a rash.  The disease can be very severe in people with weak immune systems.  Drug treatment for Anaplasmosis treatment is similar to that of Lyme disease.  

To prevent exposure residents are encouraged to take the following measures to protect themselves and loved ones from this and other tick-borne diseases:

-Wear repellent with DEET on skin or clothing.

-Create tick-safe zones in your yard through:

-Appropriate Landscaping

-Applying Pesticides

-Keeping deer away from property

-Check your body, clothing, and pets for ticks.

-Check under arms, ears, the belly button, backs of knees, between legs, around the waist, and in and around all head and body hair.

-Shower soon after being outdoors

-Check clothes carefully or put into a dryer on high heat.

-Prevent family pets from bringing ticks into the home by using veterinarian-prescribed tick collars or spot-on treatment.

-Remove attached ticks quickly and carefully using fine tipped tweezers.