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Baltimore County News

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Date: Jul 18, 2017

by Steve Walsh, Director, Baltimore County Department of Public Works

The danger from tick bites affects anyone who goes outdoors, from to hikers to public works crews to folks enjoying a barbeque in the backyard.

Road crews, utility crews, surveyors and engineers have considerable contact with the out-of-doors and are under a real threat from deer and bear ticks, especially during the hot summer months. Baltimore County’s Department of Public Works trains its employees about the dangers of tick bites.

We teach our crews what to watch for, instruct them how to navigate woods and fields safely, and walk employees through health and safety steps if they think they’ve been bitten.

Our common sense instruction is intended for employees, but it applies to everyone.

Steering clear of tick bites

  • First, the obvious: avoid tick infested areas.
  • Wear light-colored clothing in woods or fields so that you can spot ticks.
  • Tuck pants legs into socks; tuck shirts into pants.
  • Tape the areas where pants and socks meet.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Spray insect repellent.
  • Walk in the center of a trail when possible.
  • Inspect your skin after hiking.
  • Regularly check your pets for ticks and carefully remove any you find.

Here’s how the Centers for Disease Control suggests you safely remove and dispose of a tick.

Tick bites are serious business. Although only two to three percent are infectious in Maryland, tick bites can lead to a range of medical problems including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Early symptoms can include fatigue, chills, fever, joint pain and skin rash within a few weeks of a bite. Many symptoms are common to other diseases, and a professional opinion is a good rule of thumb.

Stay safe and tick-free.

Revised September 11, 2017