What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial disease transmitted by infected ticks. In the U.S. it’s caused by the bacterium Borrelia afzelii.

How do people get Lyme Disease?
  • By the bites of infected deer ticks (black-legged tick)
What are the signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease?
Symptoms vary greatly from one person to another. Symptoms also vary with the length of time a person has been infected.
·         Ring-like red rash (grows larger over time)
o   Rash usually accompanied by:
·         Fatigue, chills and fever
·         Headache
·         Swollen lymph nodes
·         Joint and muscle pain

What is the treatment for Lyme Disease?
Antibiotics are the primary treatment for Lyme disease.  Usual cases are treated with Doxycycline, Amoxicillin and Ceftriaxone.

How can Lyme Disease be prevented?
The best way to protect yourself against Lyme disease and other tickborne illnesses is to avoid tick bites. This includes avoiding tick-infested areas. However, if you live in or visit wooded areas or areas with tall grass and weeds, follow these precautions against Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia.

  • Avoid being bitten by deer flies and ticks. Here are a few helpful hints:
    • Check your clothing often for ticks. Wear light-colored long-sleeved shirts and long pants so the tiny ticks are easier to see. Tuck long pants into your socks and boots. Wear a head covering or hat for added protection.
    • For those who may not tolerate wearing all of these clothes in hot, humid weather, apply insect repellent containing DEET.  Be sure to wash treated skin after coming indoors. If you do cover up, use repellents while in locations where ticks are common.
    •  Walk in the center of trails so weeds do not brush against you.
    • Check yourself, children and other family members every two to three hours for ticks. Most ticks seldom attach quickly and rarely transmit tick-borne disease until they have been attached for four or more hours.
    • If you let your pets outdoors, check them often for ticks. Infected ticks also can transmit some tick-borne diseases to them. (Check with your veterinarian about preventive measures against tick-borne diseases.) You are at risk from ticks that "hitch a ride" on your pets but fall off in your home before they feed.
    • Make sure the property around your home is unattractive to ticks. Keep your grass mowed and keep weeds cut.

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