Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: June 10, 2015
DOVER (June 10, 2015) - One of the best things about summer weather is more time outside. The Division of Public Health urges people to get active, enjoy the outdoors, and remember to protect themselves from tick and mosquito bites. Tick and mosquito bites can cause serious illnesses, and a few small steps, such as using insect repellent, can make a big difference.
In Delaware, the most common tick-borne disease is Lyme disease, which is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected deer ticks. There were 418 Lyme disease cases in Delaware in 2014. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is diagnosed much less frequently in the First State with only 24 cases in 2014.
Symptoms of Lyme disease can include a "bull's-eye" rash (seen in approximately half of Lyme disease cases in Delaware), fever, fatigue, headache, and muscle and joint aches. Chronic joint, heart, and neurological problems may occur. It usually takes 24-36 hours of attachment before a tick transmits a disease. Anyone bitten by a tick should monitor their health closely, and contact a physician if symptoms develop.
Mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus (WNV), Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), and several other diseases that cause brain inflammation (encephalitis) and can be fatal to humans and animals. Infected mosquitoes transmit these diseases through their bites.
Approximately 80 percent of human WNV infections are mild and cause no apparent symptoms. The other 20 percent develop a mild illness (West Nile fever), which includes fever, body and muscle aches, headache, nausea, vomiting, and a rash. A small percentage of patients, usually the elderly, develop severe neurological disease that results in meningitis or encephalitis.
DPH recommends these precautions to stay safe:
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.