Tick season is expanding: Protect yourself against Lyme disease

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In components of the US and Canada, warming temperatures pushed by local weather change could also be contributing to an increase in tick-borne sicknesses. Ticks are actually thriving in a wider geographic vary, and showing earlier and sticking round later within the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. Which means we have to keep vigilant about defending ourselves towards ticks that trigger Lyme illness and different sicknesses— even throughout winter months in lots of hotter states and provinces.

Here is a well timed reminder about why stopping Lyme illness is vital, and a refresher on steps you possibly can take to keep away from tick bites.

What are the signs of Lyme illness?

Lyme illness is finest recognized for its traditional symptom, a bull’s-eye purple rash that seems after a chew from an contaminated tick (scroll all the way down to see images of traditional and non-classic rashes). Nonetheless, 20% to 30% of individuals don’t develop a rash. And a rash may be straightforward to overlook as a result of ticks are inclined to chew in darkish physique folds such because the groin, armpit, behind the ears, or on the scalp. Some individuals have flulike signs reminiscent of a headache, fever, chills, fatigue, and aching joints. So when you discover a rash or have these signs, name your physician for recommendation. At this stage, immediate antibiotic therapy can wipe out the bacterial an infection.

When individuals don’t obtain therapy as a result of they didn’t see the rash or did not produce other early signs, the micro organism can unfold to totally different components of the physique. Not solely can the micro organism itself trigger issues, however the physique’s immune system can over-respond to the an infection. Both course of, or typically each, might hurt joints, the center, and/or the nervous system. And a few individuals handled for any stage of Lyme illness develop post-Lyme illness syndrome, which might trigger a spread of debilitating signs that embody fatigue, mind fog, and melancholy.

Find out how to keep away from getting Lyme illness

Stopping tick bites is one of the simplest ways to keep away from Lyme illness and different tick-borne sicknesses. Blacklegged ticks (additionally known as deer ticks) could also be contaminated with the micro organism that causes Lyme illness. Should you reside in one of many areas the place the incidence of Lyme illness is excessive, these steps will help.

Know the place ticks are doubtless lurking. Ticks normally crawl up from leaves or blades of grass on the bottom to the legs. So be further cautious when strolling by means of fields or meadows and on hikes the place chances are you’ll brush up towards bushes, leaves, or timber. Attempt to stroll on well-cleared paths.

Put on protecting clothes. Lengthy pants tucked into socks is one of the simplest ways to maintain ticks from crawling up below the pant leg. Lighter-colored clothes could make ticks simpler to see.

Use repellents. You should purchase clothes that’s pretreated with the insecticide permethrin (which repels ticks). Or you possibly can spray your individual garments and footwear; simply make sure you observe the instructions fastidiously. On all uncovered pores and skin, use a product that accommodates DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), IR3535, para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. This search device from the EPA will help you discover a product finest suited in your wants. Take note of the focus of lively substances: for instance, at the very least 20% however no more than 50% with DEET; between 5% to twenty% with picaridin; and 10% to 30% with oil of lemon eucalyptus. Many merchandise are available pump spray bottles or as sticks or wipes, which can make them simpler to use the place wanted.

Get a tick examine. After spending time in tick-infested areas, ask a associate to examine you for ticks in areas in your physique which you could’t see very properly. The frequent chew areas are the again of the knee, the groin, below the arms, below the breasts in girls, behind the ears, and in the back of the neck. The tick species that transmits Lyme illness is in regards to the dimension of a sesame seed. Word {that a} tick must be hooked up to your pores and skin for twenty-four to 36 hours for it to transmit sufficient micro organism to provide the illness.

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