Watch CBS News

Schumer Calls For Federal Efforts In Fight Against Lyme Disease

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- With tick season creeping in, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for a greater federal effort to fight against Lyme disease.

As 1010 WINS' Roger Stern reported, Lyme disease cases hit a 15-year high in Brooklyn and on Staten Island in 2015 – the last year for which there are numbers. With summer again upon us, Schumer called upon the Department of Health and Human Services to implement a law already on the books to aid in the fight against Lyme disease.

It is a disease that Schumer is personally familiar with after he himself was bitten by an infected tick.

"I knew what to do. Most people don't," Schumer said. "But just with simple education, many, many people who get Lyme disease could beat it in its early stages."

The tick disease law provides money for education as well as research and prevention.

Meanwhile, an expert provided advice on what to do if you encounter a tick.

As WCBS 880's Kelly Waldron reported, some people have advised that if you have a tick attached to your skin, you should take a hot match to it, drop some peppermint oil on it, or even cover it with gasoline.

But Paul Utts of the New Jersey Pest Management Association said there is one tried and true method for removing a tick.

"Really, it is about getting a nice pointed pair of tweezers, grabbing right at the base where it is inserted into the skin, and pulling straight out," Utts said.

And with all the viruses ticks can carry, the last thing you want is to squeeze a tick's body or keep a tick on your own body for any period of time.

If you are in a tick-prone area, Utts said you should use a permethrin-based spray on your clothing.

"Spray this on when you're not wearing your clothes," he said. "Let it dry and it will last for several washings."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.