ALBANY, N.Y. - The Albany County Health Department says there has only been one confirmed case of potentially deadly deer tick virus, also known as Powassan virus, in the county since 2004. But now, with a case confirmed in Saratoga County, health officials are warning that the amount of ticks with this deadly virus is increasing.
If you are walking your pets through wooded areas, ticks may attach to your four-legged friends, potentially bringing the ticks inside the home. Dr. Lexi Becker, a local veterinarian, gives some advice on how to keep you and your pets protected, especially with this new tick borne illness found in our area.
"The first thing, is you want to feel them over really well to make sure that they aren't feeling the ticks attaching, but also scanning the the surface of their coat," Dr. Becker says. "The ticks are usually moving trying to find their final destination of where they want to attach."
Becker says always keep an eye on your pet, especially around their head and neck, and keep an eye on ticks jumping from your pet on to you.
The Albany County Health Department says to wear light-colored clothing, so you can easily spot the ticks, and wear long sleeve shirts and pants, and tuck your pants into your socks when in the woods.
If you do find a tick on your pet or yourself, make sure you don't throw it away in your trash can. Flush the tick down the toilet or rinse it down the sink, Becker says. She also suggests putting them in a container with some rubbing alcohol.
Dr. Becker says prevention is key. You can find tick repellent for your pets and yourself at your local grocery store or pharmacy.
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