Nurses Corner: Lyme Disease Prevention by Nurse Heidi McGlown, RN Summer is finally here and most of us will be spending more time outdoors. Please remember to take precaution and check for ticks this year. In the US over the past 20 years Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses have tripled! Ticks thrive in warm weather. Deer ticks that carry Lyme disease are most active in wooded and grassy areas in the summer but can be active in warm springs and early fall. Lyme disease is transmitted when the tick bites and stays in place for 24 to 48 hours. To help repel ticks, use an insect repellent with DEET and wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when out in brushy areas. Be sure to inspect your skin for ticks after being out in tick-infested areas. If you see a tick, remove it quickly and safely by grasping the tick as close to your skin as possible using fine-tipped tweezers. Remove the entire tick by pulling up with steady, even pressure. Remember to disinfect the bite and your hands! After a deer tick bite, your health care provider may recommend initial treatment with an antibiotic. If any unusual rash or redness appears around the area of the bite, you should get treatment right away. Blood tests usually do not show positive results for 2 to 5 weeks. Untreated Lyme disease can cause a rash, muscle aches, fever, and swollen glands. Late stage Lyme disease can even cause damage to the heart, joints, and nervous system. If you do get bit by a tick and are concerned about any kind of infection at the site, please have the Crest on-site nurse or your pri- mary care provider take a look. Stay safe and enjoy your summer! Building & Maintaining a Solid Credit Score by Kaylene Reynolds, Personal Banker III, First State Bank, Shannon-Polo-Lake Carroll Your credit score is one of the most important numbers in your financial profile. So how do you determine where to start and what to prioritize in order to boost your credit score and to establish good habits? Easy! Just follow these 5 simple steps to help build and maintain your score. 1. Know what determines your score. Credit scores are established using the credit score model which was developed by Fair Isaac Corporation; hence the term “FICO credit score.” Generally scores range from 300 to 850. The higher the number, the more credit wor- thiness is shown. FICO score factors include 35% past payment history, 30% amounts owed, 15% length of credit history, 10% amount of new credit, and finally 10% types of credit. 2. Pay your bills on time. The biggest impact on your FICO score is whether or not you pay your bills on time. If you have missed payments recently, it has more of an effect on your score than past late payments. Get into the habit of setting up a recurring or automatic payment, even if it is just the minimum payment due. This will help you avoid forgetting the due date. 3. Keep chipping away at your debt. For a secured loan, such as a car loan or mortgage, your FICO score looks at how much money you owe in relation to the original loan amount. For credit cards or revolving lines of credit, your FICO score looks at how much money you owe compared to the amount of credit you have access to. This is known as the credit utilization rate. Best practice is trying to keep your credit utilization rate at or below 30%.
14 Crest Ink July, August & September 2019
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