According to recent news, Lyme disease from tick bites has been increasing steadily. In the past 15 years, it has grown by 6,000 percent! Knowing what to look for and what to do is important for your health.
Lyme disease is spread by ticks carrying the bacteria and occurs over three phases. Catching it in the early phase is beneficial and the tell tale sign is an expanding ring of redness around the original site of tick bite. This is often called the bulls eye rash and can appear days to weeks later. People at this beginning stage of Lyme's disease may also have flu like symptoms. During phase 2, abnormalities can be found in the heart and nervous system as well as other problems and phase 3 can bring joint issues, motor and sensory nerve damage and arthritis. And many patients who have Lyme Disease also have anxiety and depression.
Lyme Disease is treated with antibiotics. Identifying it early can help prevent the later stages.
Should you find a tick, removing it correctly is essential. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/how-to-remove-a-tick#1 There is a lot of misinformation out there on how to do this. All you need is rubbing alcohol and pointy tweezers. Rub the tick with the alcohol and then pull straight up without twisting the tweezers. Steadily pull up. Rub the bite area with more rubbing alcohol. Wash your hands.
You can keep the tick and send it for testing or dispose of it.
Tick bite prevention includes knowing where you are likely to find them. Anywhere 'wild' is a happy place for ticks. Treat your clothing and gear with Permethrin if you are going into an area where ticks may be or are KNOWN to be as some areas will provide that information. Use bug spray containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. And shower after being outdoors. Do a body check as well. https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html
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