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    Protect Yourself from Insect-Borne Diseases

    The rains of spring and summer bring more than just moisture to Colorado. They also usher in bug season, and it’s important to protect yourself from insect-borne diseases.

    Both mosquitoes and ticks are present in Jeffco Open Space parks this time of year, and bites can lead to such serious illnesses as Colorado tick fever, the West Nile Virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and relapsing fever.
    Jefferson County Public Health suggests following “The 4 Ds” of bite prevention: Drain, Dusk/Dawn, Dress and DEET.

    Wearing insect repellent containing DEET is the best form of protection, as long as certain precautions are taken. It should not be applied on wounds or irritated skin. Concentrations of less than 30 percent DEET should be used on children and none at all on infants less than 6 months of age. It’s usually best to apply DEET on clothing rather than exposed skin.

    Dressing in long-sleeved tops and full-length pants, especially at dawn or dusk when insects are most active, is another proven prevention strategy. Lastly, be sure to completely drain even small containers – such as water bottles – where enough moisture exists for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.

    People traveling in areas where ticks might be present should conduct a thorough tick check of their entire body afterward. If a tick is found, remove it using blunt tweezers by grasping it as close to the skin as possible. Rocky Mountain wood ticks are relatively easy to remove because they have short mouthparts.

    If a bite is suspected and symptoms of an illness begin to occur, seek immediate medical treatment. More information is available on the Jeffco Public Health website and through Fight the Bite Colorado.

    Jeffco Parks is comprised of Jeffco Open Space, the Fairgrounds, CSU Extension, Boettcher Mansion and Weed and Pest. Open Space, the largest division, was founded as a land conservation organization in 1972 and preserves natural and cultural resources, provides quality outdoor recreation experiences and promotes sound environmental stewardship. We are funded with a one-half cent sales tax that has protected over 52,000 acres and created 28 regional parks and 227 miles of trails in Jefferson County.

    Jefferson County Public Health is committed to promoting health, preserving the environment and preventing injury and disease for the residents of Jefferson County, Colorado. Please call 303-232-6301 or visit our web site at jeffco.us/public-health for more information.

    Thea Rock
    Communications Director

    July 31, 2014

    Last Updated: 7-31-2014