CRANFORD, NJ – The Cranford Health Department is warning residents to beware of ticks while enjoying the outdoors.

Lyme Disease and other tick-borne diseases including erlichiosis, rocky mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis and Powassan disease are expected to rise due to an increase in tick population, the department said.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease include fever, headache, fatigue and a bullseye rash, although the rash does not appear in all cases. If left untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous system, the department said.

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Here are tips from the department to help prevent Lyme Disease this season:

  1. Check for ticks before leaving a park, a wooded area and your own backyard
  2. Beware of bare skin- wear long-sleeved tops, long pants, socks, and sturdy shoes when in wooded areas
  3. Use repellants with at least 20 percent DEET on exposed skin and clothing
  4. Stay on paved trails and avoid walking through brush or unmarked areas
  5. Take a shower immediately after coming indoors
  6. Put clothes in the dryer on high heat for one hour to kill remaining ticks

If bitten by a tick, stay calm. The tick can be removed by pulling the bug straight up and out with fine-tipped tweezers. Clean the bite and hands with rubbing alcohol, an idodine scrub or soap and water. If a tick is removed within 24 hours after the bite, the risk of Lyme Disease is greatly diminished.

If infected with Lyme Disease, see a doctor who will prescribe antibiotics for two to three weeks. For more information, visit the Cranford website.