What to Do? Tick Season

It’s Tick Season!!!

As the warmer months approach, its very important to be educated about ticks and tick bite prevention. There a several different types of ticks, some carrying bacteria that cause disease. The most common tick-borne illness in the US is Lyme disease. It is caused by the bacteria, Borrelia Burgdorferi, and is transmitted by the deer tick. Symptoms of Lyme disease vary by stage, often starting with a distinct rash called Erythema Migrans. This rash begins at the bite, slowly expands, then clears in the center, giving it a characteristic “bull’s eye” appearance.  You may also experience a flu-like illness with fever, swollen glands, myalgias and fatigue. In some cases, the infection will spread causing various cardiovascular or neurologic symptoms (palpitations, severe headaches, weakness).  A patient may also develop inflammation in muscles/joints or even chronic neurologic symptoms months to years after infection.

According to the CDC, 95% of Lyme Disease occurs in 13 states, two of which are Maryland and Virginia. Therefore, it is important to protect you and your family this season. If you will be in a wooded area, wear proper clothing and a repellant with DEET (a least 20%). Shower as soon as you get inside and closely examine yourself, your children and pets for ticks. If you find a tick, promptly remove it. You can use clean fine-tipped tweezers. Make sure to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible and gently pull upwards. Do not yank or twist the tick as parts may break off in the skin. If you develop any symptoms or a rash, visit your doctor immediately!

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Sources:
http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/
http://www.uptodate.com/contents/lyme-disease-symptoms-and-diagnosis-beyond-the-basics