Carolyn FortinoMay 24, 2017, 6:07 pmMay 25, 2017, 6:22 am

How to stay mosquito, tick free this summer

Health officials give important tips on how to keep you and your family safe from West Nile and Lyme Disease

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If you're planning on spending some time outdoors, whether it be going for a hike, a jog, or just having a barbecue in your backyard, there are some things you should be aware of to prevent ticks and mosquitoes from biting.

Ticks and mosquitoes shouldn't prevent people in Westchester County from enjoying the outdoors this spring and summer. Simple tips like covering up exposed skin, wearing insect repellent and doing a daily tick check are easy ways you can help to keep yourself safe from illness.

"When you go home you have to check, behind the ears, under the arms, in the hair, legs and belly button. We just found a tick on my seven-year-old daughter and our dog this past weekend. So it’s definitely the season," Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said.

Dr. Sherlita Amler, Westchester County's Commissioner of Health, says there are different symptoms people should watch out for if they become infected by a mosquito or tick-borne illness.

"If you see a rash that the center is becoming more clear, that's concerning and you should go in and see your doctor. A lot of times though it could be a headache, a muscle ache, you could just be feeling tired or fatigued," Dr. Amler said.

If you come across a tick that is attached to your skin, Assistant Commissioner Peter Delucia says removing the tick incorrectly can make things worse.

"If you grab the area, you're going to basically pump what’s in the tick inside of you, and you don't want to do that. That's why you want to make sure you get very close to the mouth parts, as far down as possible, not on the body. And then, don't twist, you just want to pull straight up," Delucia said.

For more tick and mosquito prevention information, visit the Westchester's Health Department website.

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