The Howard County Health Department reminds residents that spring and summer months increase the risk of exposure to ticks and the possibility of Lyme disease, which spread through the bite of an infected tick.
According to the National Lyme Disease Risk Map developed by the Centers for Disease Control, Howard County and Maryland are in the high-risk areas of the United States.
Ticks that carry the disease are commonly found in woods and in areas between lawns and woods. Symptoms may include fever, headaches, fatigue and a rash in the shape of a bulls-eye.
Dr. Peter L. Beilenson, Howard County health officer, has advised that most cases can be treated with antibiotics. However, it is important to consult a health professional if symptoms appear.
Get free sunscreen, safety information
In partnership with the Howard County Economic Development Authority's agricultural marketing program, the Howard County Health Department is offering free sunscreen and sun-safety information this month at farmers' markets.
Health Department staff members will be at markets at the east Columbia library from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday; in Oakland Mills Village Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 10; at Mount Pisgah AME Church on Cedar Lane from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. June 19; and at the Glenwood library from 9 a.m. to noon June 30.
Representatives of the Howard County Nutrition Program will be available at the farmers' markets Thursday and June 19.
Information on breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancer will also be available, as will information on the Health Department's free cancer screening programs.