Lyme disease is so pervasive here in the Hudson Valley region, it almost feels impossible to avoid. But according to Gary P. Wormser, MD, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Westchester Medical Center (WMC), the flagship of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), you can significantly reduce your risk of contracting a tick-borne illness by following the CDC’s guidelines on preventing tick bites (www.cdc.gov/ lyme/prev).
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Specifically, Dr. Wormser recommends always using tick repellents with DEET when you’re in high grass or a wooded area and to check your body for ticks and shower after you’ve been outside. If you do find an attached tick, Dr. Wormser recommends removing the attached tick immediately by grasping it with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and pulling it straight out. Then, either go to your doctor or to a diagnostic center. “Bring the tick with you,” advises Dr. Wormser, so it can be identified. “If warranted, we will provide you with an antibiotic to help prevent Lyme disease.”