By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– The Division of Environmental Health Services’ (DEHS) Mosquito and Vector Control Program (MVCP) confirmed today that two adult western black-legged ticks collected on January 29, 2015, tested positive for a bacteria that may cause Lyme disease in humans. MVCP routinely checks for the presence of this bacteria in local ticks within the County. The ticks were collected about 4 miles north of Yucaipa along Highway 38 on a hiking trail. This marks the first finding of the bacteria during a tick survey in San Bernardino County since 1991. The MVCP will continue to survey this and other areas to assess Lyme disease risk to San Bernardino County residents and visitors.
Lyme disease is a preventable bacterial illness. In California, Lyme disease is spread to humans and animals from the bite of an infected western black-legged tick. Typical Lyme disease symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue, and a rash resembling a bull’s eye that appears near the site of the bite.
“Lyme disease is still a significant concern in the U.S. and a threat to public health,” said DEHS Division Chief Corwin Porter. “We would like everyone to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases”.
In general, an infected tick must be attached and feeding for at least 36 to 48 hours before it can spread the bacteria. While the risk of getting Lyme disease is low, residents are still encouraged to protect themselves and their families by doing the following:
Keep grass along trails, buildings, and camping areas mown.
If you find a tick attached to your skin:
The steps being taken by MVCP in response to this discovery are in line with the Countywide Vision to protect the health and safety of residents and visitors.
For more information, please contact the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health Services at (800) 442-2283, visit our website at www.sbcounty.gov/dph/dehs, or the CDPH website at http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/TickBorneDiseases.aspx.