With residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley spending more time outside in the summer heat, health officials are encouraging residents to remember the steps to prevent tick and mosquito-borne illness.

Ticks and mosquitoes serve as vectors of bacterial and viral disease and can pose serious health threats to humans. Patrick Burke, regional epidemiologist at the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department says there were cases of Lyme disease (from ticks) and West Nile Virus (from mosquitoes) reported in the Mid-Ohio Valley last year.

While ticks and mosquitoes serve as vectors for different types of human disease, fortunately the preventative measures for these diseases are quite similar.

"Residents should remember to wear long, loose, and light colored clothing when outside, and use insect repellant with permethrin or DEET according to the manufacturer's recommendation.

Make sure pets are being treated for ticks as well. Talk to your doctor immediately if you are experiencing symptoms of vector-borne illness this summer which include significant fever, rashes, tremors, confusion, or stiff neck."

Residents should also:

Empty standing water from cans, bottle, old tires, flower pots

Clean out clogged gutters

Drill holes in the bottoms of trash cans and recycling bins to allow water to drain

Make sure all windows in your home have proper screens

Keep grass mowed to eliminate insect habitats

Check your body for ticks after spending time outside in wooded or brushy areas

For questions or mosquito complaints contact the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department at 304-485-7374 or visit www.movhd.com

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