Officials: Lyme disease on the rise in McHenry Co.

August 3, 2011 (CHICAGO)

McHenry County has seen 13 cases of Lyme disease so far this year.

Residents are urged to avoid exposure to ticks. The black-legged or deer tick is known to carry Lyme disease. They live in wooded or bushy areas and in tall grass.

Symptoms of Lyme disease include fatigue, fever, swollen lymph nodes and a skin rash with a bull's eye appearance.

Health Dept reports cases of Lyme disease on the rise (PRESS RELEASE)

WOODSTOCK IL - McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) is warning residents to take precautions against tick bites during the warmer months (August-September) to prevent contracting the diseases they carry. Thirteen (13) cases of Lyme disease have been reported to MCDH in 2011, with 6 cases having exposure in McHenry County. In 2010, only 6 cases were reported in the same time period. The black-legged or deer tick is a known carrier of Lyme disease. Ticks live in and near wooded areas, tall grass and brush.

Lyme disease typically occurs 3 to 30 days after exposure to an infected tick. Symptoms vary greatly from person to person and may include fatigue, chills and fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and skin rash (often with a "bull's eye" appearance). Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. If you experience these symptoms, and have had possible exposure to ticks, contact your physician.

The best way to protect against tick-borne illness includes :

  • Walk in the center of trails. Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter. Tuck long pants into your socks and boots.
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET (30% or less) to exposed skin. Follow label instructions.
  • Check the clothing of family members as well as under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair. Ticks generally need to be attached for 36-48 hours before they can transmit Lyme disease.
  • The Center for Disease Control & Prevention recommends bathing or showering as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks.
  • For more information on Lyme disease, contact MCDH's Communicable Division at 815-334-4500 or visit

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