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Newtown, Connecticut

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Code Red
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Tick Results
2014 Tick Results by Number
Archived Results
Tickborne Disease is a serious issue in our communities.  The best defense, at this time, is understanding your risk and the things you can do to protect your self and your family. Please visit the links below for valuable information - which will allow you to better understand the ticks, your risk, and actions you can take.

There are several useful and informative links below - please check them out

Check out HVCEO's Tickborne Illness Resource Center

Scroll down this page to BLAST Program
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CDC - Centers for Disease Control link

Link to CDC's NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topics - LYME


Link to the Tick Management Handbook (takes a few moments to download)


Link to the Fairfield County Municipal Deer Management Alliance

Please scroll down for Deer Resistant Plantings list

SEE TICK TESTING INFORMATION BELOW

NEW TICK TESTING CRITERIA - EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2006

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) tests ticks for the pathogen that causes Lyme Disease. The CAES had to reduce the effort and cost for this effort. Research has revealed that flat (unengorged), infected nymphs or adults of Ixodes scapularis (the blacklegged tick) do not transmit the Lyme Disease agent until blood is ingested - tick becomes engorged.  The probability of pathogen transmission increases with time as proportionately more blood is ingested from the host.

Ticks that have ingested blood are considered engorged.
If the tick has not ingested blood - then it is NOT engorged, and it will not be tested.

The CAES will accept all ticks for identification but will only test those Ixodes scapularis nymphs and females that have ingested human blood (are engorged).  CAES staff will examine the ticks for blood.  American dog ticks will be identified but not tested because these ticks are not an important vector of the Lyme Disease agent.  This reduction in the numbers of flat ticks tested for the DNA for the Lyme Disease agent will greatly reduce laboratory costs and improve the CAES reporting of results on the blood-fed ticks.

Ticks that are removed from a Newtown resident can be brought to the Newtown Health District office, and from there it will be sent out to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, where it will be tested for the presence of the spirochetes that cause Lyme Disease.  When the tick is brought into the Health District office, the person presenting the tick will be asked to fill out a short form that includes the name of the person the tick was found on, their address, telephone number, the age of the person, the gender of the person and the body part where the tick was found.  This is done at no cost to the person presenting the tick.

When the Health District receives the results for the tick testing, it is logged in the District's notebook and will also be logged on this website, by an ID number.  No personal information will be distributed.  If the tick tests postitive, a District staff member will also call the phone number provided at the time of tick submission and inform them of the postive result.  

Due to the large numbers of ticks that are submitted, the District does not call to report the negative results.  The results will be posted on the website, and submitters are also welcome to call the Health District office approximately 3-4 weeks after submission and can receive the result over the telephone.

Submitters of ticks are strongly encouraged to pay close attention to their health after a tick bite.  The tick testing is helpful information but cannot be used a diagnostic tool.  It takes approximately 3-4 and sometimes 5 weeks to receive results from the CT Agricultural Experiment Station.  Lyme Disease, or other tick borne illnesses, can onset prior to obtaining tick test results, therefore it is important to monitor health, communicate and possibly visit with a personal physician.

Ticks are almost everywhere - take care to reduce possible exposure - and do a tick check every day.

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Be a Tick Fighter...BLAST Tick-Borne Diseases this Year!
Tick season is here and the Newtown Health District is promoting the BLAST Tick-Borne Diseases program. BLAST stands for the five most important things YOU and your family can do to stay safe from tick-borne diseases.

It is important to BE AWARE of the risks of Tick-borne Disease – Everyone should understand that we live in an area where Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are widespread. The good news is that tick-borne disease is preventable. We should be aware of how the disease is transmitted, what to look for, how to minimize contact with ticks and what steps to take if you suspect you have become infected. Education and awareness will greatly improve your ability to prevent tick-borne disease.
B stands for bathing soon after spending time outdoors. A recent study showed that people who bathed or showered within 2 hours of coming indoors did not contract Lyme disease as frequently as those who did not bathe or shower soon.
L reminds everyone to look their bodies over for ticks daily and remove them properly. Speedy removal helps avoid disease transmission. Remove ticks carefully by their mouth parts with a tweezer and save them in a plastic bag for identification. Contact your local health department for tick-testing policies and notify your physician if you have any concerns. “L” also reminds us to look for expanding rashes and reported them to your physician in a timely manner. The painless erythema migrans (EM) rash sometimes seen with Lyme disease can often go unnoticed and will eventually disappear while the infection remains. Other early symptoms include fatigue, headache, fever and achy muscles and joints.
A encourages you to avoid ticks when possible, and to become educated about repellants and apply them appropriately. Know where ticks live and avoid those areas: Ticks don’t like sunny, dry areas; they like shade, shelter and moisture. ~Ticks can be found in leaf litter, shaded gardens, weeds, tall grass, shrubs, low trees, and ground cover like pachysandra. Dress properly when entering potentially tick-infested areas: Wear long pants that are light-colored to allow easy identification of ticks. ~Tuck your pant legs into socks and shirt into pants. ~Tape pant legs and wear long sleeves when working near the ground. ~Cover hair with a hat. ~Tie long hair back.  Apply repellent.  Studies have shown that applying 30-40% DEET-based repellant to skin is effective at repelling blacklegged (deer) ticks. Application of 0.5% permethrin-based insecticide to clothing is highly effective at repelling and even killing ticks. Clothing treated with permethrin can be washed several times and still retains its repellant properties. The use of repellants, while proven effective is a personal decision. For more information on tick repellants, visit the National Pesticide Information Center's website.

S stands for safeguarding your yard to reduce your possible tick exposure.  Spraying the yard can reduce tick abundance. Homeowners should consider the benefits of applying pesticide to the perimeter of their yards. Studies have shown that even one application of pesticide at the right time of year and in the best location can reduce blacklegged tick populations by 85 – 90%. Complete information on tick management is available at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station website.   Additional safeguards include creating a “Tick Safe Zone”, in which the homeowner manages their yard to make it less hospitable to ticks, by doing the following: remove leaf litter and clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edges of lawns; place wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to restrict tick migration to recreational areas; mow the lawn and clear brush and leaf litter frequently; keep the ground under bird feeders clean; discourage deer from migrating into your yard by using deer-resistant plantings; stack wood neatly and in dry areas; and keep playground equipment, decks and patios away from yard edges and trees.
The Health District has an excellent brochure that can guide homeowners with making changes in their yards.

T reminds everyone about treatment.  In general people who begin medical treatment soon after becoming infected, have a quicker and more complete recovery from Lyme and other tick-borne disease. Learning to recognize the symptoms and receiving early medical treatment will help to prevent more serious illness. Erythema migrans (EM) is a rash and can be the first symptom of Lyme disease. The telltale rash starts as a small red spot at the site of the bite and gets larger over a period of days or weeks and forms a red rash shaped like a circle or oval. Not everyone gets or sees the rash.  Other symptoms can include fever, headache, stiff neck, body aches and tiredness. Although these symptoms may be like those of common viral infections such as the flu, Lyme disease symptoms tend to continue longer or may come and go. Lyme disease can also affect your nervous system, causing symptoms such as stiff neck, severe headache (meningitis), temporary paralysis of the facial muscles (Bell’s palsy), numbness, pain or weakness in the limbs and poor muscle movement. Other more serious long term affects may include memory loss, difficulty with concentration and change in mood or sleep habits. Less commonly, people who have not taken antibiotics may develop heart or other problems weeks, months, or even years after they were infected with Lyme bacteria. Receiving early medical treatment is the key to preventing long term health effects.
It is also important to treat your pets. Local veterinarians offer a variety of methods for protecting animals from tick-borne diseases. Dogs and cats increase one’s chances of exposure to Tick-Borne Disease. Pets can carry ticks in to the home on their fur. Pet owners should be cautious about sleeping with their pets.
For additional information on the BLAST Tick-Borne Disease prevention program, contact Donna Culbert at the Newtown Health District. Phone 203-270-4291 or email donna.culbert@newtown-ct.gov Make everyone in the family a Tick-Borne Disease fighter this year. BLAST Tick-Borne Disease.
~



The BLAST Program materials are available on the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected officials HVCEO website~(http://www.hvceo.org/lymemain.php) for all interested parties.

~all4.gif All four stages of Ixodes scapularis, the black-legged
                                           or deer tick with dime for size comparison


Deer Resistant Plantings


Aa - Az Perennials
Achillea -- Yarrow
Agastache -- Anise Hyssop
Ajuga -- Bugleweed
B - C Perennials
Berberis -- Barberry
Buddleia -- Butterfly Bush
Buxus -- Boxwood
Carex – Sedge
Caryopteris -- Bluebeard
Coreopsis -- Tickseed
D - I Perennials
Daphne -- Daphne
Dicentra -- Bleeding Hearts
Digitalis -- Foxglove
Epimedium – Barrenwort
Euphorbia -- Spurge
Ferns
Geranium -- Hardy geranium
Grasses -- Ornamental Grass
Helenium -- Sneezeweed
Helleborus -- Hellebore
Hypericum -- St. John's Wort
Hyssopus -- Hyssop
Iris sibirica -- Siberian Iris
J - R -- Unusual, one-per-genus varieties
Lamium -- Dead Nettles
Lavandula -- Lavender
Lespedeza
Leucanthemum -- Shasta daisy
Ligularia -- Ligularia
Ligustrum -- Privet
Linum -- Blue Flax
Lychnis -- Rose Campion
Lysimachia -- Whorled Loosestrife
Melissa -- Lemon Balm
Mentha -- Mint
Monarda -- Bee Balm
Myrica -- Northern Bayberry
Narcissus, Allium & Fritillaria for fall planting (a Top 21 Favorite)
Nepeta -- Catnip
Origanum -- Oregano
Paeonia -- Peony
Papaver orientale -- Poppy
Perovskia -- Russian Sage (one of Dave's Top 21 Favorites)
Phlomis -- Sticky Jerusalem Sage
Picea -- Spruce
Podophyllum -- Mayapple
Polemonium --Jacob's Ladder
Potentilla -- Cinquefoil
Pycnanthemum -- American Mountain Mint
Rhus -- Sumac
Ruta -- Herb of Grace
S - Z -- Unusual, one-per-genus varieties
Salvia -- Meadow Sage (one of Dave's Top 21 Favorites)
Satureya -- Winter Savory
Scutellaria -- Skullcap
Senecio -- Golden Ragwort
Shrubs
Stachys -- Lamb's Ear
Tanacetum -- Tansy
Teucrium -- Germander
Thymus -- Thyme
Verbascum -- Mullein
Veronica -- Trailing or Creeping Speedwell
Zauschneria -- California fuchsia