County offers tips to prevent Lyme Disease

Goshen. The black-legged ticks responsible for spreading the disease can be hard to find.

Goshen /
| 01 Jul 2024 | 01:01

With the arrival of the summer season and increased outside activities, the Orange County Department of Health (OCDOH) urges residents to protect themselves and their families from ticks and mosquitoes.

Ticks, particularly black-legged deer ticks, are common throughout New York and can carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, which is the most reported tick-borne illness in both Orange County and New York State.

Mosquito bites can also result in infections like West Nile virus, posing serious health risks. In 2023, OCDOH found 10 cases of mosquitos carrying West Nile virus through OCDOH’s water testing program. However, not a single person has been diagnosed with West Nile Virus in the county since 2014.

“I, along with Commissioner of OCDOH, Dr. Alicia Pointer, want to ensure that all residents are informed on the ways to prevent being bitten by ticks and mosquitoes, as well as what to look for if you have been bitten,” County Executive Steve Neuhaus said. “As a team, we will continue to do all we can to keep the residents of Orange County free of these diseases.”

The OCDOH recommends the following when hiking, working, or spending time outdoors:

• Wear protective clothing: When possible, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.

• Use insect repellents: Look for the ones containing DEET, Picaridin, or IR3535. Follow the label carefully for safe use.

• Tie back long hair

• Regular tick checks: Perform a full body check multiple times throughout the day and at the end of the day. If ticks are removed quickly, they’re less likely to spread infection. Check animals for ticks after they’ve been outside.

• Clothing care: After returning indoors, dry clothes on high heat for at least 10 minutes to kill any ticks on dry clothing. If the clothes are damp, additional drying time may be needed.

• Shower after outdoor activities: Showering soon after coming indoors can help wash off unattached ticks and provide a good opportunity for a thorough tick check.

• Mosquito control: Use screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out. Regularly empty, turn over, and scrub outdoor items that can hold water, such as buckets, planters, children’s toys, pools, and birdbaths, at least once a week to prevent mosquito breeding.

For more information, visit or call 845-291-2332.