Lyme Disease

Understanding Lyme Disease

Each year in the U.S., tens of thousands of people are diagnosed with Lyme disease, a bacterial infection transmitted through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. Those most at risk include individuals who spend time in wooded or grassy areas, especially during the warmer months when ticks are most active.

  • Symptoms: Lyme disease symptoms can vary but often include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes. A characteristic skin rash, erythema migraines, which looks like a "bull's-eye," may also appear.
  • Transmission: Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. These ticks are often found in wooded and high grass areas.

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Prevention: The Three "L"s

  1. Look: Regularly check your body for ticks after being outdoors, especially if you've been in wooded or grassy areas. Pay special attention to under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and on the hairline and scalp.
  2. Landscape: Keep your yard tick-free by clearing tall grasses, mowing the lawn regularly, and placing a barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas.
  3. Layer: Wear light-colored clothing to easily spot ticks. Wear long sleeves, tuck your pants into your socks, and use tick repellent on exposed skin and clothing.

Lyme Disease Treatment

Who Should Seek Treatment?: If you've been bitten by a tick or have symptoms of Lyme disease, especially if you live in or have visited areas known for Lyme disease, seek medical attention.

How is it Treated?: Lyme disease is typically treated with antibiotics. Early detection and treatment are crucial for a full recovery.

Safety and Precautions: If you find a tick on your body, remove it immediately with fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible and pull upward with steady, even pressure. Clean the bite area and your hands thoroughly.

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