Protect Yourself From Lyme Disease This Summer

If you live near a wooded area, spend time in a wooded area, or have pets that can roam nearby, you should be on the lookout for signs of tick bites and Lyme disease. It is common for people infected to never know they were bit. It is particularly important to protect yourself from Lyme disease this summer.

Treatment For Lyme Disease

An infected deer tick or black legged tick is usually the pest that transmits the infection to humans. They become infected by feeding on infected birds, mice, or deer. It is best if a tick bite is treated in the early stages of the infection. A 10 – 14 day course of oral antibiotics is the normal treatment, but sometimes intravenous antibiotics are required.

10 to 20 percent of people are left with something known as post Lyme disease syndrome which affects mobility and cognitive skills. It can take months or sometimes years to recover.

Warning sign "beware of ticks" in infested area in the green forest with walkers

The key to fighting Lyme disease is finding the tick and getting early treatment.

Watch For Signs Of Lyme Disease

Many people can go for months not realizing they have been bitten and have Lyme disease. It is difficult to diagnose this disease making it harder to treat in its early stages. According to the CDC there are 30,000 cases of Lyme disease each year, but they believe there could be as many as 300,000 cases which are not diagnosed.

Be conscious of certain signs which include fever and chills, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and joint aches, headache, and a noticeable flat circular rash. The rash may look like a bull’s eye.

Of importance this summer is the commonality of symptoms between COVID-19 and Lyme disease making Lyme disease even harder to diagnose. Common symptoms that overlap include the following:

  • Fever or chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Body aches

If you find yourself feeling unwell, contact Madison Medical Associates to find out what steps you should take.

Best Ways To Protect Yourself From Lyme Disease

Of course staying away from wooded areas is the best way to prevent Lyme disease. If you like to hike and enjoy outdoor activities we suggest the following precautions:

  • Stay in the middle of hiking trails and avoid walking in the brush.
  • Wear long pants with socks and shoes.
  • Find the right repellent according to the EPA.
  • Check your entire body as well as family members after being in wooded areas, especially under the arms, the navel, in and around ears, back of knees, around head and body hair.
  • Check all clothing.
  • Keep pets on veterinarian recommended products that repel ticks.

If you see a tick, use a tweezer to remove it. Check daily as a tick on your skin for less than 24 hours can be removed safely with little risk of getting the disease.

Watch for signs of a rash or any of the other symptoms if you have come into contact with a tick. Not every tick is carrying Lyme disease, but why take the chance.

Contact Madison Medical Associates immediately if you have any symptoms of Lyme disease.

As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (256) 325-1160 today!