State Rep. Josh Cutler, D-Duxbury, will host a Lyme disease prevention and treatment awareness forum at noon June 6 at the Pembroke Public Library, 142 Center St.
The event will offer community members the chance to learn about prevention techniques and treatment options for tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease and Babesiosis. Speakers will include Kevin Cranston, director of the Bureau of Infectious Disease for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Dr. Nevena Zubcevik, attending physician at the Harvard Medical School and co-director of Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness.
“Communities in the south shore are especially at risk when it comes to contracting tick-borne illnesses. It’s important we know how to prevent these types of diseases so we can fully enjoy the outdoors this summer,” said Cutler.
Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses have spread across Massachusetts in the last 40 years and have become one of the region’s most commonly reported infectious diseases. In 2013, Plymouth County accounted for over 600 of the 4,080 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Massachusetts; Marshfield accounted for 56 of those cases at a rate of over 200 per 100,000.
Cranston will discuss various steps that individuals can take to prevent the contraction of Lyme disease. Zubcevik will speak after Cranston.
- Steps to protect against tick-borne illnesses include:
- Wearing light colored clothes, long sleeves, socks and closed toe shoes.
- Always checking for ticks after being outside, especially in the woods.
- Use tick-specific repellent while outside in the warmer months.
- Place a barrier of wood chips at your yard’s perimeter.
- When finding a tick, remove it without crushing it and contact a doctor for further instructions, especially if unsure of how long it has been attached.
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