By Jessica Mathews /

The Livingston County Health Department is again monitoring mosquitos and ticks as part of a state surveillance and prevention program and encourages local residents to protect themselves.

The Department will continue to participate in a Vector-Borne Disease Surveillance and Prevention Program in coordination with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services or MDHHS.

The Department provides mosquito and tick monitoring data to MDHHS as part of a statewide system which helps communities track and prepare for emerging diseases. The main goals are to identify mosquitoes that have the potential to transmit the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus and deer (or blacklegged) ticks that can spread Lyme disease. That’s done by placing mosquito traps and conducting tick drags throughout the county.

The program will also support public education on mosquito-borne disease prevention, mosquito control, and tick-borne disease prevention.

As people start to spend more time outside, the Health Department is reminding residents to protect themselves against ticks and mosquitoes.

Diseases that are spread to people by mosquitoes and ticks include West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and Lyme Disease, all of which have been found in Livingston County. Health officials say prevention is the best way for people to protect themselves.

Anyone who finds a tick and wants it identified is encouraged to submit a photo to the local Health Department, which is the best way to determine if someone may have been exposed to Lyme Disease from a black-legged tick.

More information is available in the attached press release and link.