Spring is the time of year when ticks become very active. Deer ticks transmit Lyme disease and we live in a high-risk area for the disease. Now is the time to start thinking about taking precautions to protect against this long-term and debilitating infection.

Here are some simple precautions you should take:

• Avoid heavily wooded areas and tall grass.

• Use a bug repellant that includes DEET.

• Wear light-colored clothing and, whenever possible, long pants, and tuck them into your socks.

• Always check yourself, your children, and pets after being outdoors.

If you think you have been bitten:

• Remove the tick immediately by pulling it slowly straight out.

• Transmission of Lyme disease from an infected tick is less likely to occur if the tick is properly removed.

• Don’t squeeze or use alcohol or any other substance that will aggravate the tick and regurgitate more venom back into you.

• Once removed, apply antiseptic.

• Save the tick and contact your doctor <<immediately.>>

For further information, contact the Lyme Disease Diagnostic Center at 914-493-TICK.

— Chris Cohan