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Protect Against Lyme Disease

The ticks that transmit Lyme disease, a debilitating flu-like illness caused by Borrelia bacteria, are spreading rapidly across the United States. Lyme disease cases have tripled in the United States over the last 2 decades, making it the most commonly reported vector-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere. The disease now affects around 300,000 Americans each year. 

If diagnosed early—a rash commonly appears around the site of the tick bite—Lyme can be effectively treated with antibiotics, but longer term infections can produce more serious symptoms, including joint stiffness, brain inflammation, and nerve pain.

Journal of Medical Entomology published results from a study indicating that the blacklegged tick has undergone a population explosion, doubling its established range in less than 2 decades. Blacklegged ticks are found in 37 states across the eastern United States. 

People who get Lyme disease suffer from symptoms like a rash, facial paralysis and swollen knees. If left untreated, it can progress to complications like memory problems, heart rhythm irregularities and chronic arthritis. Since the late 1990s, the number of reported cases of Lyme disease in the United States has tripled and in some areas, Lyme disease has increased by more than 300 percent, according to the CDC.

Illnesses from ticks and insects have tripled in the US since 2004

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. It is the most common tick-borne infectious disease in the United States. The sooner you can get a tic off you the better you are. The longer a tic is in you, the worst it is in terms of getting the bacteria in to you body. Ticks can be so small. It can be the size of "period" on a page. At times, it is very difficult to detect that you have been bitten by a tick. Lime disease mimics so many other diseases such as the flu. If you do contract Lyme disease, it is important to catch it in the early stages and treated it with anti-biotics. Lyme disease, if not treated early, can cause rheumatoid arthritis in children.

How can you know if you have Lyme Disease? 

Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) list the most common symptoms such as a circular red rash known as erythema migrans (EM). According to the NIAID, Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose for a number of reasons. Many of the common symptoms associated with Lyme disease, such as headaches, dizziness, and joint/body pain, also occur with other diseases. Tshe circular red rash does not appear in at least one quarter of people who are actually infected with Lyme bacteria. Call your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms after removing a tick.

What can you do to protect yourself from Lyme disease

Simple tips to prevent TICK BYTES especially if you plan on working in your home garden and or plan on spending more time in the yard;

  • Avoid Direct Contact with Ticks
  • Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
  • Walk in the center of trails.
  • Repel Ticks with DEET (treat clothing as well)
  • Find and remove ticks from your body by bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you. 

Thoroughly check your body if you've been in a tick-prone area, and shower as soon as possible once indoors.

Have a friend inspect hard-to-see areas of your body like the back, neck and scalp.

If you find a tick, remove it with tweezers immediately.

Common Tips to Prevent tick bytes

  • Ware long socks (preferably white)
  • Ware long sleeves and long pants (tuck your pants in you socks if you are in a highly wooded area)
  • Do not do yard work in shorts
  • Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns.
  • Place a 3-ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas.
  • Mow the lawn frequently and keep leaves raked.
  • Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from edge of the yard and place them in a sunny location, if possible.

How can Lyme disease be treated?

Patients treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover rapidly and completely. Antibiotics are used to treat early stage Lyme infection. Patients typically take doxycycline for 10 days to 3 weeks, or amoxicillin and cefuroxime for 2 to 3 weeks.In up to 90% of cases, the antibiotic cures the infection. If it doesn’t, patients might get other antibiotics either by mouth or intravenously.

Natural way to prevent tick bytes

Recipe for Tick Repellent Solution

  • 20 drops rose geranium oil
  • 2 table spoons Coconut or sweet almond oil as your base
  • 20 drops of one of these essential oils; Lemmon grass, eucalyptus, citronella, cede wood, cinnamon, rosemary, and lavender.

If you spend time outdoors in an areas where you might be exposed to ticks, assume that you might have one on you. Do a thorough check when you're back indoors and remove any ticks immediately.

https://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/the-year-of-the-tick/

https://www.bayarealyme.org/lyme-disease-prevention/tick-testing/

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