Ticks are related to Hopkinton's top health issues, experts say

HOPKINTON, Mass. — Ticks are a real concern in several communities, including in Hopkinton.

Lyme disease, babibeosis and anaplasmosis are three of the five top illnesses in town, said Hopkinton's health director, Shaun McAuliffe.

And Lyme disease is now triple the number of flu cases in town, McAuliffe said.

McAuliffe made a clean sweep of a Hopkinton yard recently in search of ticks.

Doug Medieros, a town resident, said he finds ticks all the time.

“So it’s not uncommon to come in from outside and (have) a tick on you or two," he said.

His son has been diagnosed with Lyme disease.

“He was having symptoms, swollen knee, fever. Called the doctor, sounds like Lyme, 'Let’s get him checked' and sure enough, he did," Medieros said.

With more ticks and illnesses, McAuliffe said it's important more than ever for the public to be vigilant.

"It’s a simple behavior modification," McAuliffe said.

McAuliffe and others advise residents to take the following precautions:

  • Keep repellent by the door so you can apply when you go out
  • Spray your shoes and spray yourself from your knees down
  • Do a tick check on you, the kids and your pets
  • Set up your grill and where people gather in your yard in a sunny spot, since ticks don't like the sun

“If you’re gonna be out raking the leaves or gardening, you should be using a tick repellent," McAuliffe said.

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