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Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Posted on May 03, 2018

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

“Lyme disease is spread by the bite of an infected tick. In the United States, an estimated 300,000 infections occur each year. If you camp, hike, work, or play in wooded or grassy places, you could be bitten by an infected tick” – (CDC, 2018).

Transmission

“The blacklegged tick (or deer tick, Ixodes scapularis) spreads the disease in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central United States. The western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus) spreads the disease on the Pacific Coast.

Ticks can attach to any part of the human body but are often found in hard-to-see areas such as the groin, armpits, and scalp. In most cases, the tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted.

Most humans are infected through the bites of immature ticks called nymphs. Nymphs are tiny (less than 2 mm) and difficult to see; they feed during the spring and summer months. Adult ticks can also transmit Lyme disease bacteria, but they are much larger and are more likely to be discovered and removed before they have had time to transmit the bacteria. Adult Ixodes ticks are most active during the cooler months of the year” -(CDC, 2015).

Symptoms

“Untreated Lyme disease can produce a wide range of symptoms, depending on the stage of infection. These include fever, rash, facial paralysis, and arthritis. Seek medical attention if you observe any of these symptoms and have had a tick bite, live in an area known for Lyme disease, or have recently traveled to an area where Lyme disease occurs” -(CDC, 2018).

Protect Yourself!

While outside….

  • Avoid tall grass and over-grown areas
  • Walk in the middle of trails when hiking
  • Consider using tick repellent
  • Tuck pant leg into socks
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts & closed shoes
  • Wear light colored clothes to see the ticks easier

After coming inside…

  • Bathe as soon as possible
  • Conduct full-body tick check
  • Hair/ head
  • Under arms
  • In and around ears
  • Inside belly button
  • Behind knees
  • Between the legs
  • Around the waist
  • Check your gear
  • Check your pets

Don’t forget to talk to your veterinarian about pet protection!

Tick Testing

Ticks found on humans can be submitted to The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) for testing through the NVHD. Please bring the tick in a sealed bag or container. NVHD will contact you with your results. There is a $5.00 fee per tick. Download our Tick Submission Form or fill it out at our office M-F 8:30AM-4:00PM.

Resources:

NVHD Tick and Tick-borne Diseases Pamphlet
CDC – Lyme Disease
CDC – Prevent Lyme Disease