Lyme disease, other pest-born diseases increase in Ohio & nationwide

Outdoor workers should always follow proper safety practices to avoid insect bites, but even more so as disease cases have increased rapidly during the last decade.

In Ohio, SCT’s home state, Lyme Disease cases increased from 45 human cases in 2008 to 270 cases in 2017, according to a Cleveland.com report. Lyme Disease, which can be spread by blacklegged ticks, causes muscle stiffness, extreme fatigue and joint pain.

An additional report from the Centers from Disease Control found that Ohio reported 1,358 disease cases from ticks from 2004 to 2016. Nationwide, diseases from  mosquitoes, ticks and fleas have tripled in the past 13 years, with more than 96,000 cases in 2016.

Source: CDC

If you find a tick that is attached to your skin, it’s important to remove it as quickly as possible to limit the chance for disease to transmit.

The CDC gives a quick set of instructions for how to quickly remove a tick.

  • Use tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible
  • Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Do not twist the tick, which can cause the mouth of the insect to break off and remain attached to the skin.
  • After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  • Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed container, or flushing it down the toilet.

As the weather improves and more workers head outdoors, it’s important to be aware of the potential hazards that workers can face. Whether it’s wildlife, extreme heat, or severe weather, our Outdoor Working Hazards video series is a great resource. Feel free to use the video playlist below as part of a Toolbox Talk or training session.