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June 11, 2020
As in years past, this summer, the Lenawee County Health Department (LCHD) is participating in a Vector-Borne Disease Surveillance and Prevention Program in coordination with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). LCHD will be providing mosquito and tick monitoring data to MDHHS as well as use the surveillance data to notify the public of risks related to emerging vector borne diseases.
The LCHD surveillance program will be geared toward identifying populations of potentially invasive Aedes species mosquitos capable of transmitting the Zika virus and the blacklegged tick (deer tick) capable of transmitting Lyme disease or other diseases.
There is no current information that suggests COVID-19 can be transmitted by mosquitoes, as it is a respiratory virus most commonly spread from person-to-person by respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing.
All residents can take simple, everyday precautions to protect themselves against vector-borne illnesses that can be transmitted through mosquito and tick bites by doing the following:
• Use an EPA-approved insect repellent: When outdoors, use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing. Always follow the directions on the package.
• Wear protective clothing: Wear long sleeves and pants when weather permits.
• Keep mosquitoes from laying eggs near you: Mosquitoes can lay eggs even in small amounts of standing water. Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, bird baths, kid’s toys/pools, and tires.
• Landscape for tick prevention: Keep the grass mowed, remove leaf litter, brush and weeds at the edge of the lawn.
• Consider pesticide application: Pesticides can be applied as targeted treatments to reduce mosquito and tick populations.
• Perform regular tick checks: Ticks can attach to any part of the human body, but prefer body creases and areas with hair such as the groin, armpit, ankle and scalp. Be sure to check yourself, your kids, and pets for ticks after spending time outdoors.
Submit a tick or “tick pic” to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to have an expert help identify what kinds of ticks you find or download “The Tick App” to show you how to avoid ticks and tick-borne diseases. Find more information about emerging vector-borne illnesses at www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases .