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(COOPERSTOWN) – Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) and Mohican Farm kick off their 2018 Be Informed! Lecture Series with “Ticks and Lyme Disease: What You Need to Know” on Wednesday, February 21 at 6:30 pm. The program will be held in the community room at The Clark Sports Center, 124 County Road 52, Cooperstown. The program is free and open to the public.

“With tick season just around the corner, it’s important for people to understand the facts about ticks and tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease,” said OCCA Executive Director, Leslie Orzetti.

Dr. Carmen Greenwood, Associate Professor at SUNY Cobleskill, will present information on the biology and ecology of ticks, focusing on the black-legged tick (also known as the deer tick), which transmits Lyme disease. Greenwood has a Ph.D. in entomology and conducts research on arthropod ecology.

Bob Sutherland, manager of Mohican Farm for The Clark Foundation, said, “Understanding the life cycle of ticks can perhaps help us figure out how to manage the landscape to avoid them.”

Following Greenwood’s presentation, Theresa Oellrich, RN, Communicable Disease Coordinator of Otsego County will discuss the specifics of Lyme disease, including its health impacts, treatment and prevention, and what to do if bitten by a tick.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by bites from previously-infected blacklegged ticks (Ioxides scapularis). Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic ‘bullseye’ rash on the skin. Left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 26,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease nationwide in 2016, the last year data is available.

“I had Lyme disease three summer ago. It is not fun,” said Sutherland. “I urge people to learn about this important health issue.”

The program is free, but pre-registration is requested. For more information, visit OCCA’s website at www.occainfo.org.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org.

Mohican Farm is part of The Clark Foundation. Its mission is to promote sustainable activities within The Clark Foundation, the community and Otsego County.

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