Communicable Disease

Welcome to the Yates County Public Health Communicable Disease Page.  You can find information on:

Lyme Disease Prevention During Hunting Season

Protect yourself, and your pets from tick bites during hunting season. Hunting brings you in close contact with ticks and their habitat.  Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or they may be on the animals themselves.  Taking the  proper precautions will reduce your chances of being bitten.

While most tick-borne infections occur during the summer, ticks may still be active well into the fall, or even year-round during a mild winter.  If you develop a fever, rash, headaches, or joint pain, in the weeks following outdoor activity, see your doctor immediately.  Early diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease can help prevent the long term health problems that can sometimes be associated with the illness.

Taking these steps may help prevent tick bites:

Before the hunt:

  • Treat gear and clothing with permethrin. Products containing permethrin kill ticks and mosquitoes.  Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing, and camping gear.  The CDC recommends using insect repellant for outdoor activity.  The advantage of using permethrin for hunting gear is that it remains protective through several washings.  If you don’t use permethrin, make sure to use DEET containing insect repellent. 
  • Treat dogs for ticks. Dogs are highly susceptible to tick bites and tick-borne disease. Regularly treat dogs with medications that kill ticks using products recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Tuck your pants into your boots or socks and tuck your shirt into your pants to prevent ticks from crawling inside clothing.

During the hunt:

  • When possible, walk in the center of trails and paths to avoid brushing up against ticks.
  • Ticks may drop off recently killed animals and may be in quick search for a new host, which may include people. Pay particular attention to ticks during the transportation or dressing of animals.
  • Animals can carry diseases which may affect people, including brucellosis, tularemia and rabies.  Consider wearing gloves when dressing or butchering game and washing hands thoroughly afterwards.

After the hunt:

  • Shower immediately after returning from the outdoors. Showering may help remove unattached ticks.
  • Perform a full body check to look for ticks. Use a mirror, or have someone help you with hard-to-see areas.
  • Check dogs for ticks after returning from tick habitats. The most common locations for ticks on dogs include the ears, arm pits, groin and between the toes.
  • Remove any attached ticks from people or pets immediately. To remove a tick grasp it with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and pull it straight out. Do not twist or jerk.

Watch for rash or flu-like symptoms in people and pets in the weeks following tick exposure, even if you don’t remember being bitten by a tick.  Be sure to mention to your doctor any history of tick bites or outdoor activities where you may have been exposed to ticks.

For more information on ticks and Lyme disease go to:


Zika Virus

There is a lot of media attention being given to Zika virus at the moment.  The truth is that there are many serious diseases caused by mosquitoes, including West Nile virus, malaria, dengue fever, and chikungunya.  It is very important to protect yourself from mosquito bites when traveling to warm climates. 


Take the following steps:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
  • Use insect repellents as directed.
  • Avoid mosquito bites for 3 weeks after returning from a trip to a region with Zika transmission.  This prevents the virus from spreading to local mosquitoes.

The real risk from Zika virus is to unborn babies.  The World Health Organization has linked Zika virus infection during pregnancy to cases of microcephaly (abnormally small head size) and miscarriage.  If pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, the CDC recommends delaying travel to countries with Zika virus transmission until after pregnancy.

Planning a trip to somewhere warm? Are you pregnant? Check out CDC Travel Alerts before you purchase your ticket and book your hotel.

Zika PSA from the Pan American Health Organization

Mosquito Repellent

There are many insect repellents on the market.  They may claim the highest concentrations of mosquito killing power, or the most natural ingredients.  The CDC recommends repellents that have 30% DEET to effectively repel ticks and mosquitos.  Due to the risk of Zika virus associated with travel, Consumer Reports has made it's list of efficacy ratings for insect repellents available to the public.  To see how your repellent stacks up go to Consumer Reports: Insect Repellent Ratings.

Trying to get your child to use insect repellent?  Here are some tips from our furry, monster friends at Sesame Street:

Sesame Street Mosquito Repellent Video


Petting Zoos and Baby Poultry

Live poultry, small turtles, and other animals can carry the Salmonella germ, even when they look clean and healthy.    Every year there are Salmonella outbreaks related to petting zoos and baby poultry.  Salmonella can cause severe diarrhea or GI illness in humans.  This can be especially serious in children under 5 years of age, and the elderly.  Make sure children wash their hands after touching animals.

If you plan to visit a petting zoo or buy baby chicks:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or hand sanitizer after touching animals.  Most petting zoos have hand wash stations available.
  • Adults should supervise hand washing for young children. 
  • Don't allow children to snuggle or kiss animals. 
  • Don't let live poultry or equipment associated with caring for poultry inside the house, in bathrooms, or in areas where food or drink is served, such as kitchens or outdoor patios.





  • List of Reportable Diseases
  • To report a communicable disease please contact Yates County Public Health at 315-536-5160 between 8 am and 4 pm.
  • After hours call 315-536-4438 and ask for the Public Health staff on call.




417 Liberty St Suite 2120
Penn Yan, NY 14527
Phone: 315-536-5160 or 866-212-5160
Fax: 315-536-5146

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