Eau Claire (WQOW) - With over 40 percent of deer/bear ticks collected in Eau Claire area parks infected with Lyme disease, it’s clear that the disease is booming, according to the Eau Claire City-County Health Department.
Lyme disease is the second most prevalent reportable communicable disease in Eau Claire County.
In 2014, the health department began a tick collection project at two rural county parks to determine the percentage of ticks infected with Lyme disease. In 2017, they received grant funding to expand their tick collection project to two additional parks in the city. As part of the grant, the health department is partnering with Beaver Creek Reserve, City of Eau Claire Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, and Eau Claire County Parks and Forest to increase community awareness about Lyme disease.
Those partners are distributing a survey to see what the community knows about Lyme disease. The health department will be at the Amazing Eau Claire Clean up on Saturday, May 5, giving out the survey to event volunteers.
Also, be on the lookout for new signs in the local city and county parks and at Beaver Creek Reserve. “With so many mental and physical health benefits associated with being in nature, we want to promote how to protect yourself from tick bites so you can continue enjoying the outdoors,” said Erik Keisler, executive director at Beaver Creek Reserve.
“As a result of this project, we hope to see less of our residents affected by Lyme disease because they are aware of how common it is in our community, and how they can prevent it,” said Gina Schemenauer, health educator at the health department.
For more information on Lyme disease, click here.