Pictured above from left to right are Holly Ahern, Senator Sue Serino, Ira Auerbach, Cassandra Guarino, Jill Auerbach, Matt Frye, Putnam Valley Town Supervisory Sam Oliverio, and Memphis.

PUTNAM VALLEY, NY—The Putnam Valley Town Hall was standing room only for a unique ‘Tick Talk’ hosted by Senator Sue Serino and Putnam Valley Town Supervisor Sam Oliverio on Thursday night. The event was planned to help raise awareness about Lyme and tick-borne diseases (TBDs) after the Supervisor recently experienced the devastating impact of a TBD first-hand, surviving a near-death experience after a bought of ehrlichiosis. 

Senator Sue Serino said,“One ‘tick-check’ can make all the difference, and events like this are important reminders for residents to remain vigilant when they are enjoying the outdoors. Awareness is the key to prevention, and I thank Supervisor Oliverio for being so open in sharing his experience to help empower others. Together, we can continue to raise critical awareness and ensure residents have the information they need to stay safe, healthy and tick-free.”

Town Supervisor Sam Oliverio said,“I would like to personally thank Senator Sue Serino and her hardworking staff for setting up a terrific panel of experts who discussed the threat, treatment and prevention of tick borne diseases.  From our pets to ourselves, the panel offered advice, information and important guidelines in the on-going fight against these disease bearing insects.  Thank you Senator Serino!”

Thursday’s event featured interactive presentations by:

·      Matt Frye, PhD, NYS IPM Program, Cornell University;  

·      Holly Ahern, Associate Professor of Microbiology, SUNY Adirondack;

·      Cassandra Guarino, PhD, Extension Associate for Serology/Immunology, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine; and 

·      Jill and Ira Auerbach, Hudson Valley Lyme Disease Association 

Presenters made it a point to combat common internet myths surrounding ticks and Lyme disease and provided attendees with up-to-date statistics and information concerning best practices to keep themselves, their loved ones, and their pets healthy. The event served as an important reminder that although summer may be winding down, ticks will remain active throughout the upcoming falls months, and residents need to remain vigilant when it comes to taking preventative measures and performing regular tick-checks each time they come inside after spending any time outdoors. 

A link to view the event will be made available in the coming days.

Residents who want to see funding to combat Lyme and tick-borne diseases made a priority in next year’s state budget are encouraged to sign Senator Serino’s online petition by clicking here.

Residents looking for more information on this important topic are also encouraged to attend ‘Tackling Ticks: Family Discovery Day’ on Sunday, September 15that the Poughkeepsie Galleria. This interactive event geared toward educating children and families about ways to stay tick-free will feature games, crafts, music and more to help children of all ages get a better understanding of how to spot a tick and properly report it to their loved ones for proper removal. For more information, click here.