Chicago, IL – Illinois Public Health Officials Launch Lyme Disease Awareness Campaign

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Chicago, IL – As Lyme Disease Awareness Month begins, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is intensifying its efforts to educate residents on the prevention of tick-borne illnesses, which affect approximately 500,000 Americans annually. IDPH has released a news update on May 3, 2024, outlining key strategies to combat the spread of Lyme disease and other tick-related conditions.

According to Dr. Sameer Vohra, IDPH Director, prevention is crucial during the tick season, which is now starting in Illinois. He emphasized the importance of checking oneself for ticks after being outdoors and the benefits of removing ticks within 24 hours to prevent disease transmission. This year, the department has also introduced an interactive Tick Defense Knowledge Check crossword puzzle and a Tick Surveillance Map in partnership with the Illinois Natural History Survey, enhancing public engagement and awareness.

Public health officials advise that residents traveling out of state, particularly to areas in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and parts of Michigan, should be extra vigilant due to higher Lyme disease rates in these regions. In addition to established precautions like using EPA-registered insect repellents and conducting full-body tick checks, the department also recommends post-outdoor clothing treatment techniques to reduce tick exposure.

The state is committed to educating its citizens about the risks and preventive measures associated with tick bites, aiming to reduce the incidences of Lyme disease and other serious tick-borne ailments as residents begin to spend more time outdoors this season.

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