As the weather gets warmer and people spend more time outdoors - diseases passed to people through by tick, mosquito and flea bites become a bigger concern.
Among those at the top of the list is Lyme Disease. The Centers for Disease Control lists Lyme disease as the state’s top tick borne disease.
With that in mind, Delaware’s Division of Public Health has launched a new Lyme Disease Awareness Campaign.
The campaign is called “BLAST Lyme Disease,” adapted from a program in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
“BLAST” is an acronym according to Paula Eggers, DPH’s infectious disease epidemiologist.
“B is for bath or shower within a couple of hours after coming indoors; L is look for ticks on your body and remove them; A is to apply to repellent to your body and clothes; S is to spray your yard and then T stands for treat your pet,” said Eggers.
She says there are other things individuals can do to protect themselves from ticks.
“Such as if they know they’re going to be hiking to wear boots, long socks, even though it’s hot, we encourage the long pants, light-colored clothing and they can tuck their pants into their boots,” Eggers said.
According to data just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016, Delaware reported 545 cases of tick borne diseases and 35 cases of mosquito borne diseases.
The CDC says Lyme disease accounted for 93% or 506 of the cases. DPH recently finalized its 2017 data and reports 608 cases of Lyme disease last year, an increase of more than 100 cases over 2016.
You can learn more about Lyme disease and the BLAST campaign you can visit the Division of Public Health's website.