Learn the facts about Lyme Disease and strategies to help avoid it
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and this is the perfect opportunity to learn the facts about this serious bacterial infection. Lyme Disease is carried by Blacklegged Ticks (often called deer ticks) and although not all blacklegged ticks carry Lyme Disease, we believe it is important to understand the seriousness of the disease, recognize its symptoms, and employ strategies to keep tick interactions to a minimum.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease is an inflammatory disease transmitted by ticks characterized by a rash, headache, fever, and chills. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.
How does Lyme Disease Spread?
Lyme disease is transmitted through infected Blacklegged Ticks. The disease is passed to animals and humans when a tick bites and remains attached for more than 36-48 hours.
What are the symptoms of Lyme Disease?
If you believe you have been bitten by a Blacklegged Tick, watch for the following symptoms:
- Achy Joints
- Flu-like Symptoms
- Sleep disturbances
- Sensitivities to light
Contact your doctor right away if you think you may have Lyme Disease.
What can you do to decrease your risk of contracting Lyme Disease?
Reduce your risk of coming in contact with ticks by using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, reducing tick habitat, and having your property professionally sprayed.
In addition to using strategies to help keep ticks out of your yard, we want to share some tips to help keep ticks off of your body while you are hiking, walking or running through areas where ticks live.
- Avoid highly wooded areas as much as possible – reduce tick interactions by staying to the center of trails and a few feet away from the edge of the road while you walk, run or cycle
- Wear tick / insect repellent when you are outdoors
- Remove clothing immediately after you return from your outing, and shake off the garments outdoors
- Do a tick check – use a mirror or have someone assist you if possible
- Take a hot shower
- Put the clothes you were wearing in your dryer on high for at least 10 minutes — the heat will kill any ticks
If you do find a tick on your body, use this guide for proper removal from the CDC. Be vigilant about avoiding and preventing ticks and watch for symptoms of Lyme Disease to help keep your family and pets safe.