May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month, a time to “get educated” on the tick-borne illness before summer camps and outdoor events get into full swing. While Lyme Disease can be easily treated with antibiotics, if left untreated (and the painless bites often go unnoticed), it can affect the skin, joints, nervous system, heart and eyes. It is currently the fastest-growing vector-borne illness in the U.S.

Mayor Paul Voelker signed a proclamation this week declaring May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Richardson. He was joined at the signing by Kristina Bauer, a Richardson resident and Lyme disease survivor who is the Director of the Texas Lyme Alliance.

Here are some prevention tips from the Lyme Disease Association:

  • Know where to expect ticks and be aware in high-risk habitats. Ticks are most likely to be in woods, tall brush/grass, under leaves and low growing vegetation, near stone walls or wood piles, shady areas, around bird feeders and outside pet areas.
  • Use DEET-containing products to protect your skin when in high-risk areas and consider permethrin for clothes.
  • Do “tick checks” on yourself and pets and continue the checks 2-3 days after outdoor activities.