Keep A Lookout For Symptoms From Tick Bite This Summer
Have you checked yourself or your child for tick bites lately?
If you havent already heard, this summer is a particularly booming year for tick populations across the country and in the state of Ohio. A black-legged tick , the kind that sometimes carries Lyme disease, was spotted just to the east of us in Vermilion earlier this summer. And Ohio is on the list of 24 states that contains counties with newly documented populations of deer ticks.
Tick bites are common. Some people are unaware of a tick bite at first. Be sure to check yourself and your children often, especially throughout the summer months when tick populations grow. Ticks are especially attracted to warm, moist areas of the skin like armpits, groins, or hair. Once they bite you, a tick may stick around drawing your blood for up to 10 days. The sooner you spot and remove a tick, the better.
Can I Catch Lyme Disease From My Dog
Dogs are not a direct source of infection for people. Lyme disease cant be transmitted from one pet to another, nor from pets to humans, except through tick bites. However, a carrier tick could come into your house on your dogs fur and get on you.
If your dog is diagnosed with Lyme disease, you and any other pets have probably been in the same outdoor environment and may also be at risk, so it is a good idea to consult with your physician and veterinarian to see whether you should test other pets or family members.
How Is Lyme Disease Spread
Not all deer ticks are infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Ticks can become infected if they feed on animals such as mice and other mammals that are infected. The disease can be spread when an infected tick bites a person and stays attached for a period of time. In general, the tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours or more. Lyme disease does not spread from one person to another. Transfer of the bacteria from an infected pregnant woman to her fetus is extremely rare.
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How Can I Prevent Getting A Tick Bite
Good ways to prevent tick bites are to wear shoes, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants when outside, especially in brushy areas and areas that border forests. Tucking your pants into your socks and wearing high boots can also help. It is easier to see ticks on light-colored clothing, so that is another useful approach. Applying bug spray to your clothing can repel ticks. After being outdoors it is important to do a thorough tick check of yourself and your children. Ticks tend to like dark, moist areas on the body so pay particular attention to the armpits, groin, hairline, scalp, backs of the knees, and waistline. If you have pets, using a topical product to prevent ticks on your dogs and cats will also help to ensure that your animals are not bringing ticks into your home.
Who Gets Lyme Disease
Lyme disease can affect people of any age. People who spend time outdoors in activities such as camping, hiking, golfing, or working or playing in grassy and wooded environments are at increased risk of exposure. The chances of being bitten by a deer tick are greater during times of the year when ticks are most active. Ticks can be active any time the temperature is above 45° F. Young deer ticks, called nymphs, are active from mid-May to mid-August and are about the size of poppy seeds. Adult ticks are most active from March to mid-May and from mid-August to November and are about the size of sesame seeds. Both nymphs and adults can spread Lyme disease. Infected deer ticks can be found throughout New York State.
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Forbidding Forecast For Lyme Disease In The Northeast
Why was Berndts tick so risky? First, it was a blacklegged tick, a known carrier of Lyme disease bacteria. Second, the tick was in southeast Pennsylvania, where relatively large proportions of ticks are infected . Finally, the tick had been feeding for three days, much longer than the transmission threshold of 24 hours.
As a precaution, Berndt went to a doctor and started an antibiotic regimen. He also paid a lab to have the tick tested.
Fortunately, the test came back negative for Lyme disease.
I think the $50 was worth it, just to be able to say No, it definitely wasnt carrying it, Berndt says.
Even though Berndts tick tested negative, Mather says its still a good idea for people like Berndt to be on the lookout for Lyme symptoms. Thats because they could have gotten other tick bites that went unnoticed.
But Mather stresses that not everyone who finds a tick on their body needs to worry. Many cases have a low probability of causing disease.
There was one woman, she was nursing a 12-week-old baby and said, I just scraped this off my back and Im scared, Mather says. In her case, it was a barely attached American dog tick. We could tell her, Youre probably fine.
Correction July 24, 2018
An earlier version of this story said incorrectly that Thomas Mather is a professor at Rhode Island University. He is on the faculty of the University of Rhode Island.
History Of Lyme Disease
A team of researchers from the Yale School of Public Health has reported that âthe Lyme disease bacterium is ancient in North America, circulating silently in forests for at least 60,000 yearsâlong before the disease was first described in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1976,â and long before the arrival of Europeans in the U.S. In a biblical timeline, this might correspond to a time shortly after Noahâs worldwide flood . This is long before the disease was first described in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1976 by Allen Steere, M.D. This early diversity suggests that the recent epidemic of human Lyme disease has been fueled not by adaptive changes in the bacteria but by ecological changeâdriven by ecosystem disruption from human activity, such as increased deforestation and hunting, and by changes in weather âwhich has influenced the movement of Lyme-hosting birds and mammals .
Figure 2. Photograph of erythema migrans on the epidermis, also known as bullâs eye rash. This may be characterized as an expansive skin rash that is indicative of the early signs of Lyme disease. The rash can spread up to 12 inches in diameter and is caused by the gradual radial movement of Borrelia burgdorferi, as the bacteria move outwardly from the site of the tick bite. File: Bullseye rash linked to Lyme disease from Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 21:14, June 19, 2021, from .
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What Can A Workplace Or Home Do To Reduce The Presence Of Ticks
Keep the lawn and yard well maintained to prevent ticks from living near the home or workplace.
- Keep the grass mowed. Trim trees and shrubs.
- Remove leaf litter, brush, and weeds at the edge of the lawn, and around stonewalls and woodpiles.
- Clean up and seal stonewalls and small openings around the home to help discourage rodents.
- Keep stacked firewood piles and bird feeders away from buildings.
- Keep any pets, particularly dogs, out of the woods and talk to your veterinarian about tick repellents for your pets.
- Move childrens swing sets and sandboxes away from the woodlands edge and use a woodchip or mulch foundation.
- Consider using hard landscape items such as woodchips, mulch, stones, gravel, tile, or metals.
- Create a border or barrier between the lawn, woods, or stonewalls to discourage deer and rodent activity.
- Widen woodland trails.
What Is The Best Way To Remove A Tick
The best way to remove a tick is with fine tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull with firm, gentle pressure do not jerk or twist. It is important to avoid crushing or squeezing the tick while you are removing it. Do NOT use a match, nail polish, Vaseline, or kerosene to try and smother the tick these methods may cause the tick to actually inject its body fluids into the skin raising the possibility of disease transmission. After tick removal wash your hands and the area of the bite with soap and water.
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What Happened To The First Lyme Disease Vaccine
Two decades ago, a Lyme disease vaccine went on the market, but was discontinued after disappointing sales, even as Lyme disease cases continued to rise.
In December 1998, the FDA approved a vaccine, licensed as LYMErix and developed by SmithKline Beecham, now known as GlaxoSmithKline. The vaccine’s development is outlined in an article by the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.
The article states that soon after licensing, some vaccine recipients reported side effects.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose because symptoms are not consistent and may mimic other conditions. The primary symptom is a rash, but it may not be present in up to 20% of cases.
Diagnosis for Lyme disease must be made by a healthcare provider experienced in recognizing Lyme disease. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms and a history of a tick bite. Testing is generally done to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions. This may need blood and other lab tests.
Research is underway to develop and improve methods for diagnosing Lyme disease.
The symptoms of Lyme disease may look like other medical conditions or problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
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Where Do Ticks Typically Live
Ticks are typically found on the underside of low lying shrubs and brush, in areas between forests and open grass and especially in areas where there are deer. They tend to also be in higher numbers in old stone walls where mice nest. Ticks in their immature or nymphal form are carried by mice, and by deer as adults. When a human or animal goes past them, ticks latch on to the passerby and search for an area to attach and start feeding.
Other Facts About Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by bacteria carried by the bite of the deer tick. Bacteria are not actually present in the ticks saliva, so Lyme disease cannot be contracted if simply brushing or scratching a tick off your skin.
There are currently three categories of Lyme disease: acute, hypersensitivity , and chronic. The most common scenario for contracting this disease is through a bite from an infected deer tick that sets its eggs on you after feeding on blood during the blood-feeding period.
The Lyme infection is transmitted from the tick to its eggs and then, through the eggs, to humans. Lyme disease can be treated both with antibiotics and with natural herbs.
The bacteria that cause Lyme disease are part of a family known as spirochetes, which also include the bacteria that cause syphilis. The more popular name of this family is spiral or corkscrew bacteria. These bacteria have varying numbers of short, tightly coiled tails called flagella that help them move around in their environment.
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Treatment Following A Tick Bite
- In some circumstances, a single dose of antibiotic given within 72 hours of a tick bite might prevent the development of Lyme disease. Several criteria must be met:
- The tick must be identified as the blacklegged tick .
- The tick must have been attached for at least 36 hours .
- The tick bite occurred in a highly endemic area
Where Are Ticks Found
Ticks are found throughout the UK and in other parts of Europe and North America. There are a high number of ticks in the Scottish Highlands.
They can be found in any areas with deep or overgrown plants where they have access to animals to feed on.
They’re common in woodland and moorland areas, but can also be found in gardens or parks.
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What Kinds Of People Are Sought For The Lyme Disease Vaccine Trial
“Basically, the goal is to enroll volunteers who are either healthy or stable in conditions,” said Dr. Peta-Gay Jackson Booth, a physician and principal investigator in the Care Access study. “Age and size is up to as old you want to be and still be able to gallivant outside.”
“We are particularly interested in the pediatric population,” Jackson Booth said.
Researchers will consider anyone who has exposure to Lyme disease through regular outdoor activities hunting, jogging, landscaping, soccer who would normally come into contact with ticks, or be bitten by ticks, or have previous exposure to Lyme disease.
Even if they had a past history they still have to have continued exposure.
Veterans with service animals:
How Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
In areas where ticks are found, people should know about the risk of Lyme disease and should take precautions to protect themselves. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease so it can be detected and treated promptly. PHAC states that removing ticks within 24 to 36 hours after the tick bite usually prevents infection.
PHAC has also prepared a Lyme disease tool kit which provides material to raise awareness and educate.
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How Long Does A Tick Need To Be Attached To Transmit Lyme Disease
Even if the tick is infected with Borrelia burgdorferi the risk of developing Lyme disease is low. The tick has to have taken a “blood meal” from the human host before it can pass along an infection. This means the tick has to be attached and feeding for more than 36 hours before it can transmit Lyme. A tick that has not yet attached to the skin is easy to remove or is not engorged when removed, could not have transmitted Lyme disease or any other infection. Thats why it is important to do regular “tick checks” on yourselves and your children so that ticks can be identified and removed quickly.
Are There Other Efforts To Fight Lyme Disease
The first phase of a clinical trial got underway in May for a Lyme disease shot, being developed at Mass Biologics of UMass Chan Medical School.
Dubbed LymePrEP, the shot is not a vaccine.
The CDC notes that UMass Medical Schools MassBiologics has developed a human monoclonal antibody designed to be used as pre-exposure prophylaxis for Lyme disease, with a goal of providing seasonal protection against Lyme disease.
The CDC said it would likely consist of a single shot that people would get each year at the beginning of tick season.
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Do All Ticks Transmit Lyme Disease
No. In the northeastern and north-central U.S., the black-legged tick carries Lyme disease. In the Pacific coastal U.S., the western black-legged tick spreads the disease.
Other major tick species in the U.S., like the lone star tick and the dog tick, do NOT transmit the Lyme disease bacterium. But beware: All 50 states have reported Lyme disease, as well as Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America.
Other Canine Diseases Carried By Ticks
Anaplasmosis can involve symptoms similar to those for Lyme disease. Babesiosis can present with a wide range of symptoms, from sudden and severe shock, high fever, and dark urine to a slowly progressing infection with more subtle clinical signs. Diagnosis of both diseases includes blood tests similar to those used to check for Lyme disease.
Sometimes, dogs and people can become sick with co-infection of multiple tick-borne diseases, where more than one type of disease-causing bacteria is transmitted through a tick bite. This situation can make diagnosis and treatment even more challenging and difficult.
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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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
The list of possible symptoms is long, and symptoms can affect every part of the body. The following are the most common symptoms of Lyme disease. But symptoms are slightly different for each person.
The primary symptom is a red rash that:
Can appear several days after infection, or not at all
Can last up to several weeks
Can be very small or grow very large , and may resemble a “bulls-eye”
Can mimic such skin problems as hives, eczema, sunburn, poison ivy, and flea bites
Can itch or feel hot, or may not be felt at all
Can disappear and return several weeks later
Several days or weeks after a bite from an infected tick, you may have flu-like symptoms such as the following:
Weeks to months after the bite, the following symptoms may develop:
Neurological symptoms, including inflammation of the nervous system and weakness and paralysis of the facial muscles
Heart problems, including inflammation of the heart and problems with heart rate
Eye problems, including inflammation
Months to a few years after a bite, the following symptoms may include:
Inflammation of the joints
Neurological symptoms including numbness in the extremities, tingling and pain, and difficulties with speech, memory, and concentration
Some people may develop post-Lyme disease syndrome . A condition also known as chronic Lyme disease includes PLDS, but also other syndromes. Usually, these are characterized by persistent musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve pain, fatigue, and memory impairment.
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