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May is Tick-borne Disease Awareness Month
Montgomery Twp., NJ — A growing number of Montgomery Twp. Residents are falling ill with diseases spread by ticks, such as Lyme disease and anaplasmosis. These tick-borne diseases are preventable if you take action to stay safe while enjoying the outdoors now, and in the warmer months ahead.
In New Jersey, the most commonly infected tick is the deer tick (or black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis). “After a mild winter, tick populations are surging and that could mean a bad year for Lyme Disease. During the spring, ticks are active and looking to feed on people or pets. The trouble is, these ticks can be as small as a poppy seed, so we all need to be aware of the risks and take action to protect ourselves.” said Stephanie Carey, Health Officer for Montgomery Twp. Health Department.
Anyone who is bitten by a tick carrying the bacteria can become infected. People who spend a lot of time outdoors in tick-infested areas from April through October are at greatest risk. Proper removal of a tick from the skin within 48 hours of being bitten can reduce the risk of infection.
The Health Department encourages residents to follow these three simple steps to avoid tick-borne diseases:
REPEL – Before you go outside, apply an EPA-registered insect repellent (such as DEET). Treat your clothes with permethrin. Wear light-colored long sleeved shirts and long pants, and tuck your pants into your socks. Inspect yourself regularly when outside to catch any ticks before they attach.
INSPECT – Do daily tick checks on yourself, your children and pets. Check yourself from head to toe.
REMOVE – Remove ticks promptly. Showering within two hours of coming indoors is also effective to wash ticks off the skin.
If you were bitten by a tick – watch for early signs of disease during the weeks following the bite. The first sign of Lyme disease is often an expanding red rash at the site of the tick bite. The rash usually appears seven to 14 days after the tick bite, but sometimes it takes up to 30 days to appear. Not everyone gets the rash, so be on the lookout for additional symptoms of early Lyme disease: fatigue, headache, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle and joint pain. Early signs of anaplasmosis are fever, muscle pain and malaise. Both diseases can be successfully treated with antibiotics, especially if treatment is given early.
For health news, alerts and information – visit www.health.montgomery.nj.us or call (908) 359-8211.
The Montgomery Township Health Department and the Morris-Somerset Regional Chronic Disease Coalition (RCDC), along with its partners, are encouraging residents to play it safe and protect themselves from the harmful rays of the sun, beginning this season and throughout the year.
A proclamation declaring May as Skin Cancer Awareness month was presented at the April 25 Somerset County freeholders’ meeting.
“Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. It is vital that we understand that anyone can get skin cancer regardless of skin color or age,” said Freeholder Patricia L. Walsh, public health and safety liaison. “Recent studies indicate that sun damage in childhood can lead to skin cancer later in life, so you are never too young to protect yourself from sun exposure.”
“Skin cancer is a serious public health concern. Every year, more than five million Americans are treated for skin cancer. This year alone, more than 10,000 deaths in the U.S. will be caused by melanoma skin cancer,” she said. “We are urging residents to avoid artificial tanning, to conduct self-exams and to get screened. Melanoma is highly treatable when caught early.”
The RCDC is encouraging skin cancer awareness through a number of initiatives, programs and screenings throughout both counties. An interactive May skin cancer awareness calendar with sun safety tips, screening locations and partner resources is available at http://bit.ly/MelanomaHD. Dates with an orange star open to tips on how to protect yourself and your family as well as screening information and available resources.
An information table with skin cancer resources, screening information and copies of the calendar will be in the lobby of the Somerset County Administration Building at 20 Grove St., Somerville throughout the month of May. For ongoing information about programs offered by the Somerset County Department of Health, go to http://bit.ly/SCHealthDept and follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SCHealthDept.
We also are supporting our coalition partner the Enright Melanoma Foundation, a New Jersey-based nonprofit organization, whose mission is to raise sun-safety awareness and help prevent melanoma through education and early detection.
Residents are encouraged to become Enright Sun Safety Certified™. Designed by skin-care professionals from the Enright Melanoma Foundation, programs are free, online education courses for ages 5 and over that take about 15 minutes to complete. Once finished a certificate of completion can be printed. The programs can be found at www.ApplyCoverEnjoy.org.
The Morris-Somerset Regional Chronic Disease Coalition, under the auspices of the Somerset County Department of Health, is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Office of Cancer Control and Prevention. For more information, to become a member or to learn more about available cancer resources, screening locations, dates, times and eligibility, contact RCDC Public Health Consultant Lucille Y-Talbot at (908) 203-6077, email@example.com or visit http://bit.ly/RCDCSC.
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In the Blink of an Eye – Thursday, April 20, 2017.
A Conversation about Stress, Anxiety, Drugs & Alcohol in our Community
Join the Conversation!
Submit your question for our panel: http://www.mtsd.k12.nj.us/blink
Community Faith Leaders, Mental Health providers and Community Partners will also be available to answer any of your questions or requests for additional support and resources.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colorectal cancer affects both men and women, is the second leading cancer-related killer in the United States and is the third most common cancer in men and women, but it is preventable and outcomes are better when cancer is found at an early stage.
Several screening methods are available, including take-home options. Many public and private insurance plans cover colorectal cancer screening and local resources are available to help people who are uninsured.
The Morris-Somerset Regional Chronic Disease Coalition (RCDC) is encouraging residents to add fiber-rich foods to their diet through its “Fiber Matters: Fiber Fridays” initiative by designating Fridays during March as a jumping-off point to a more healthful lifestyle. For additional information on free educational programs offered in both counties during the month of March, contact RCDC Coordinator Lucille Talbot at (908) 203-6077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Somerset County residents can learn if they are eligible for low-cost or reduced-cost medical care, including exams and screenings, by calling Zufall Health Center in Somerville (hablamos espanol) at (908) 526-2335.