- Extreme Cold: Winter Weather Guide to Preparedness
- Extreme Heat
- West Nile Virus
- Lyme Disease
- Biological Agents
- Ebola Virus Information
When temperatures drop significantly below normal, staying warm and safe can be a challenge.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some great information to keep you healthy during colder months. Click here for some Frequently Asked Questions about Winter Weather including Hypothermia, Frostbite, and basic personal safety.
West Nile Virus
When dealing with West Nile virus, prevention is your best bet. Fighting mosquito bites reduces your risk of getting this disease, along with others that mosquitoes can carry. Take the commonsense steps below to reduce your risk:
- avoid bites and illness;
- clean out the mosquitoes from the places where you work and play;
- help your community control the disease.
Something to remember: The chance that any one person is going to become ill from a single mosquito bite remains low. The risk of severe illness and death is highest for people over 50 years old, although people of all ages can become ill.
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Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.
Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks; laboratory testing is helpful in the later stages of disease. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, landscaping, and integrated pest management. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tick-borne diseases as well.
Early Symptoms of Lyme Disease:
- Chills and fever
- Muscle and joint pain
- A characteristic skin rash (Erythema migrans)
Clinical Lyme disease in domestic animals may involve many organ systems. Fever, loss of appetite, depression, lethargy, swelling and pain in one or more joints, kidney disease, heart disease, and nervous system disorders have all been reported. An accurate diagnosis can only be made by a veterinarian. A Lyme disease vaccine is available. Consult your veterinarian about the appropriateness of vaccinating your pet and also to discuss recommendations for avoiding ticks.
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