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Everything You Need To Know About Lyme Disease

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What Do You Do If There’s A Tick Under Your Skin

What to Know about Lyme Disease

Use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to remove it as soon as possible. Pull upward with steady pressure. If parts of the tick are still in your skin, try to get those with the tweezers, too. After everything is out, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

You probably wonât get infected if you remove the tick within 36 to 48 hours.

How do you throw away a tick?

Put it in soapy water or alcohol, stick it to a piece of tape, or flush it down the toilet.

The Medical Minute: What You Need To Know About Lyme Disease

Newswise Summer means ample healthy outdoor activities, but the tiny deer tick may have other plans for us. This particular arachnid carries a bacterium that causes Lyme disease which, if left untreated, can lead to severe health problems. As Pennsylvania leads the nation in Lyme disease infections, it is critical that all in the Commonwealth know how to minimize the risk of contracting the disease and recognize the symptoms of an infection.

Prevention in the backyard and beyond

Ticks can dwell anywhere, but they thrive in the woods and areas that are damp, dark or overgrown, according to Tara Simmons, a community health nurse at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. That includes lawns that are overgrown or near wooded areas.

Mow your lawn, Simmons said. And if your kids have a playset in the backyard that borders trees, create a barrier of wood chips. Ticks will have difficulty crossing a dry, sunny area.

The risks of being exposed to deer ticks increase significantly in meadows and the woods. When I hike in the woods, I always stay in the center of the path and avoid the brush the tick habitat, Simmons said. She also advised wearing light-colored clothing on which its easier to see ticks and treating the clothing and hiking gear with the insecticide permethrin. It lasts through several washings. But dont spray it on your skin.

Removing a tick safely

Early symptoms

Getting medical treatment

When Will The New Lyme Disease Vaccine Be Available

Currently, VLA15 is in the third phase of a clinical study in humans.

However, even if this study is successful, it will still be a good amount of time before we see this vaccine available, Dr. Kelley explains. The companies have stated that they would seek authorization in 2025, so the use of the vaccine is still a few years off.

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How Does The New Lyme Disease Vaccine Work

Essentially, the vaccine uses a previously established mechanism to target OspA proteins found in the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, known as Borrelia burgdorferi. OspA is immunogenic, meaning it is able to produce an immune response. This is critical in vaccine development, Dr. Kelley states.

Thus far, it looks like the vaccine has provoked a strong immune response, with limited adverse effects.

Its important to note that VLA15 would not protect against all tick-borne infections, Dr. Kelley adds. Lyme disease is just one of hundreds of vector-borne diseases that require serious and immediate medical attention.

There are six different OspA proteins designed to cover the strains of Lyme disease found in U.S. and Europe, says Dr. Michael Parry, MD, Thomas J. Bradsell Chair of Infectious Diseases at Stamford Health. The vaccine is given via injection in the arm, similar to a flu or COVID-19 vaccine. Most importantly, the vaccine gives antibodies that immobilize the bacteria carried in ticks, making it less likely to infect humans.

Strategies To Help Prevent Lyme Disease

Things You Need To Know About Lyme Disease. #LymeDiseaseSpecialist # ...

If you enjoy time outside, even beyond activities we traditionally think of as tick havens , take preventative measures.

If you are out walking, running, golfing, gardening or hiking, avoid areas with tall grass, Dr. Kelley says. Wear long, light-colored clothing so ticks are easier to spot, tuck your pants into your socks and cover your hair with a hat. Utilize a tick-repellent that has Picaridin, and spray yourself before heading out the door.

As soon as you come inside, toss your clothes in the dryer for ten minutes to kill any ticks that may have attached themselves to you on the way home. Perform a thorough tick check, making sure to look at the hidden spots , as ticks like warm, dark places. Also, taking a shower as soon as you get home can reduce your risk of infection, Dr. Kelley explains.

The primary prevention method toward Lyme disease has been to lessen time and exposure to outdoor areas as much as possible, to use insect repellants and to perform tick checks on yourself afterward, says Dr. Parry. While this is good advice, Lyme disease cases have been on the rise in the last 20 years, so clearly more needs to be done. This has since created an interest in a vaccine to help combat rising cases. The vaccine will add to the preventative measures, which historically have been minimal.

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What Are The Treatments For Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. The earlier you are treated, the better it gives you the best chance of fully recovering quickly.

After treatment, some patients may still have pain, fatigue, or difficulty thinking that lasts more than 6 months. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome . Researchers don’t know why some people have PTLDS. There is no proven treatment for PTLDS long-term antibiotics have not been shown to help. However, there are ways to help with the symptoms of PTLDS. If you have been treated for Lyme disease and still feel unwell, contact your health care provider about how to manage your symptoms. Most people do get better with time. But it can take several months before you feel all better.

How To Remove A Tick

The best way to safely remove a tick is by using a specialised tick-removal tool. These are designed to remove a tick with ease and to minimise the risk of the parasite regurgitating into your bite wound, which can increase the risk of infection. You can also use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to remove a tick. In both cases:

  • Grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible
  • Gently and slowly pull upwards if using tweezers take care not to squeeze or crush the tick
  • Dispose of the parasite once you have removed it
  • Clean the bite area with antiseptic or soap and water
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    When Should You See A Doctor If You Think You Have Lyme

    The rash is a pretty good indication that you may have been bitten. Take a photo of the rash and see your doctor. At this stage, treatment with antibiotics will probably work.

    If you don’t have the rash but have symptoms like fatigue, fever, and headache but no respiratory symptoms like a cough, you may want to talk to your doctor.

    How To Treat Lyme Disease In Dogs

    Do you know the signs of Lyme disease?

    If you think your dog has Lyme disease, you should take your dog to the vet immediately. The vet will conduct a blood test to see if your dog tests positive for Lyme disease. If positive, your vet will prescribe antibiotics to help eliminate the bacteria from your dogs bloodstream.

    Treatment is a long process, and sometimes your vet will have to alter the prescribed antibiotic because the bacteria can become immune to certain medications.

    Be sure to follow your vets instructions with administering any medication to your dog. Most antibiotics require the full course of medication to ensure the infection clears from the dogs system.

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    How Do You Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs

    To prevent Lyme disease in dogs, try to avoid tick-infested areas, especially during peak season. When you come in from the outdoors, check your dogâs body and carefully remove any ticks with tweezers.

    Year-round tick control helps in prevention. You can also ask your vet about tick-preventive products. These products kill ticks on your dogâs body before they have a chance to spread an infection. Vaccines can also help prevent Lyme disease in dogs, but vets warn against them unless you live in an area that is prone to ticks.

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    Everything You Need To Know About Lyme Disease

    Lyme disease can cause devastating effects on your health. Symptoms of Lyme disease can mimic many other diseases and, unless you get the obvious bullseye rash, it may be extremely difficult to pinpoint the cause of your symptoms, leading to a misdiagnosis.

    30,000 cases a year are reported to the Centers for Disease Control, but many more are not reported. The CDC estimates that approximately 300,000 people may get Lyme disease each year in the United States. Since Lyme disease is not simple to diagnose after it has progressed, the total number of Americans infected each year may be even higher than CDC estimates.

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    Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented

    People aren’t able to become immune to Lyme disease. So even if you’ve had Lyme disease, you can get it again. No vaccine is available currently to prevent the disease.

    The FDA approved a Lyme vaccine called LYMErix in 1998. The vaccine was not 100% effective, however. The FDA still recommended preventing the disease in other ways. In 2002, the company that made LYMErix said it would no longer offer the vaccine.

    To help prevent Lyme disease, follow these guidelines.

    So Is Lyme Disease Curable

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    In short, yes, Dr. Wojewoda says.

    If people are treated appropriately in the early stages of the disease, they usually recover rapidly and completely, she notes. In a small percentage of cases, the tired feeling and muscle aches can last for more than six months.

    But while early treatment can lessen the severity of the disease, later stages of Lyme disease may prove more complicated. For some, even if the infection has been eradicated, symptoms like arthritis or even neurologic signs and symptoms can persist for months or even years, for Dr. Jeffrey explains.

    This is considered chronic Lyme disease and, not unlike all cases of Lyme disease, will require a tailored treatment plan specific to a persons symptoms and needs.

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    How Can I Avoid Getting Bitten By A Tick Or Contracting Lyme

    Ticks can thrive in a variety of environments. Ticks are found in thickets and coastal areas, or in low grasses and herbaceous vegetation, Ostfeld says. But theyre predominantly forest creatures. Grassy, bushy, and especially heavily wooded areas are all prime real estate for ticks. Staying away from those environments is your best defense, he says.

    But if you do venture into such areas, wear long pants and boots, and take them off as soon as you get home. Ostfeld recommends throwing any clothing you were wearing into the dryer turned to high heat as soon as possible. Ticks love humidity, and theyve been shown to survive washing and drying. But toss your clothes in the dryer without wetting them, and the dry, hot conditions should kill them off, he says.

    You can also use DEET and other bug repellents to effectively keep ticks away, he says. A chemical called permethrin is available as a spray, and when applied to your boots or hiking pants, it can kill ticks on contact.

    What Exactly Is Lyme Disease

    Traditionally, Lyme disease has been considered an acute infectious disease caused by a corkscrew-shaped bacterium classified as Borrelia burgdorferi. This infection is known to be carried and transmitted to humans and animals by ticks , but may also be carried by mosquitos. The disease was named after Lyme, Connecticut the place where it was identified over 30 years ago. The most common treatment for acute infection with Borrelia is 2-4 weeks of oral antibiotics, often doxycycline.

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    Prevention Of Lyme Disease

    There are a variety of tick prevention products on the market, including shampoos and collars. However, these preventatives are not always 100% effective. Checking your dog frequently after theyve been outdoors is the best way to ensure the ticks dont feast on your pet for the 48 hours it takes to transmit the Lyme disease infection. Removing ticks quickly also prevents them from falling off inside your home and latching on to a household member or pet. If you have a recurring tick problem in your yard, you may want to seek out a professional pest service to spray it.

    Costs More Than Money


    There are other expenses too: loss of earnings and, as Tyrrell puts it, lost opportunities. In addition to the financial strain, many Lyme sufferers also experience psychological problems and social isolation. The mental health cost to those suffering Lyme-like illness shouldnt be underestimated. There are times where I am too weak to speak. It is like being locked in your own body, she says.

    On some occasions, Tyrrell would have the energy to call a friend, only to find she didnt have the strength to hold a conversation. I did have some friends who became used to this and would tell me stories or, in one case, sing to me, she recalls. I remember one day, a particularly low point, that was both a low and a high I rang, unable to move or speak. My friend sang to me as I lay there all-but-paralysed, tears streaming down my face.

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    How To Prevent Tick Bites

    There is a number of things you can do to help prevent a tick bite. You can:

    • Stay on paths where possible and avoid walking in tall grasses
    • Use a DEET-based insect repellent on your clothes, particularly around the lower legs
    • Wear light coloured clothing so its easier to spot and brush off any ticks that have climbed aboard
    • Tuck your trousers into your socks and wear clothes that cover your skin

    What Is Chronic Lyme Disease’

    There is no agreed definition of the term chronic Lyme disease among doctors so it can mean different things to different people. Some people use the term chronic Lyme disease to describe a range of non-specific symptoms including chronic tiredness and unexplained neurological symptoms, even when there is no evidence of past or current Lyme disease infection.

    The non-specific symptoms overlap with those of several other conditions including fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, which can be triggered by common infections such as the glandular fever virus, and more recently COVID-19.

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    How Is Lyme Disease In Dogs Diagnosed

    If you think your dog has been infected by a tick, and schedule an appointment. The vet will give your dog a physical exam and ask about the recent contact with ticks. Your vet will run two blood tests called the C6 Test and Quant C6 Test.

    The C6 Test detects Lyme disease infection by checking for antibodies against a protein called C6. If your dog has been infected, these antibodies start to develop between two to five weeks after the tick bite. At this time, your dog might not even be showing any symptoms of Lyme disease. The Quant C6 Test follows, along with a urine test. A blood test can also check your dogâs kidney function. These results are used to decide the best course of treatment for your dog.

    Other tests that can give Lyme disease in dogs prognosis include microscopy, culture isolation, and a PCR.

    Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

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    Lyme disease cases fall into two different bucketsacute and chronic.

    A bullseye rash is thought of as the hallmark symptom of an acute Lyme disease infection and presents as a red ring around the site of the tick bite, but in reality, less than 50% of those infected with Lyme disease actually develop a bullseye rash, making it unreliable as a symptom of infection, Dr. Kelley states.

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    Where Can I Get Properly Treated For Lyme Disease

    At Holtorf Medical Group, our physicians are trained to utilize cutting-edge testing and innovative treatments to uncover and address Lyme disease. If you are experiencing symptoms of Lyme disease or if youve been diagnosed with Lyme, but arent getting the treatment you need, call us at 877-508-1177 to see how we can help you!

    Ticks Dont Fly Or Jump But They Can Climb Onto You If You Get Close Enough

    Ticks are not fliers or jumpers. Theyre crawlers and poor ones at that, Dr. Ostfeld says. They dont move fast at all, he says.

    To get onto your body, ticks like to climb over low plants, foliage, logs, or other close-to-the-ground objects. From there, they grasp the object with their back legs while reaching out with their front legs in an act researchers call questing.

    When you brush past, the questing tick grabs hold of your shoes or pants or skin and then makes its way upward until it finds a safe, inconspicuous spot to sink its mouthparts into your flesh, Ostfeld says. They like those tucked-away places where the skin is soft and where they can hide without being detected, he adds, mentioning the backs of the knees, the armpits, the back of the neck, and the groin as favorite locations.

    Once attached to your skin, a tick will stay there for several days, slowly gorging itself on your blood before dropping off on its own. Ticks must feed on a host at every stage of their life cycle in order to survive.

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