Lyme disease-carrying ticks found in the Santa Monica Mountains
Source of this article: The Ventura County Star, April 11, 2013
Ticks at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills recently tested positive for Lyme disease, authorities said Thursday.
Three pools of western black-legged ticks found along the Coyote Trail were found to be positive, according to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
Paramount Ranch was one of three Santa Monica Mountains park sites that came back positive for Lyme disease, officials said in a statement Thursday. The other two locations were Tapia Park and Malibu Creek State Park.
Tests were conducted by the Los Angeles County West Vector and Vector-Borne Disease Control District.
Officials said the finding is a reminder for visitors to stick to the trails and avoid vegetation areas, where the ticks live. The public should check clothing and exposed skin before heading home, making sure to brush off small creatures.
Wearing light-colored clothing with long sleeves and long pants also is recommended.
Lyme disease can start as a mild flu-like illness and develop into severe chronic health problems over time, according to the statement. If identified early, it can be successfully treated with antibiotics.
About 1 percent or 2 percent of western black-legged ticks in the area carry the Lyme disease bacteria, officials said. This type of tick is most active from late November through May.
More information is available at http://www.lawestvector.org/tickbiology.htm.