Wednesday, February 21, 2024

How To Know If A Tick Carries Lyme Disease

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Where Can I Get More Information

What is Lyme disease?
  • For questions about your own health, contact your doctor, nurse, or clinic
  • For questions about diseases spread by ticks, contact the MDPH at 983-6800 or online on the MDPH Tickborne Diseases website . You may also contact your local Board of Health .
  • Health effects of pesticides, MDPH, Bureau of Environmental Health at 624-5757

Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese translations of this fact sheet are available under additional resources.

Powassan Diagnosis And Treatment

If your doctor thinks you might have it, theyâll test your blood and spinal fluid for certain proteins called antibodies that your immune system makes to fight off infection. There are no medicines to treat it. If itâs severe, you may need to stay in the hospital, where youâll have help breathing if you need it. Your doctor also may give you medicine to ease the swelling in your brain. It can cause lasting nerve damage.

What Precautions Can I Take Against Tick Bites

  • Avoid wooded, brushy, and grassy areas, especially in May, June, and July.
  • Wear light-colored clothing so that you can see ticks that get on you.
  • Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and shoes that cover the entire foot.
  • Tuck pant legs into socks or shoes, and tuck shirts into pants.
  • Wear a hat for extra protection.
  • Spray insect repellent containing DEET on clothes and uncovered skin.
  • Walk in the center of trails to avoid brush and grass.
  • Remove your clothing, and wash and dry them at high temperatures after being outdoors.
  • Do a careful body check for ticks after outdoor activities.

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What Happens At Your Appointment

The GP will ask about your symptoms and consider any rash or recent tick bites you know about.

Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose. It has similar symptoms to other conditions and there’s not always an obvious rash.

2 types of blood test are available to help confirm or rule out Lyme disease. But these tests are not always accurate in the early stages of the disease.

You may need to be retested if you still have Lyme disease symptoms after a negative result.

What Tests Are Available For Lyme Disease

Ticks &  Lyme Disease

When a person becomes infected, the body creates antibodies to protect itself from the bacteria. Certain blood tests are available to measure these antibodies. However, sometimes a “false negative” test can result if there are not enough antibodies in the blood for the tests to detect accurately. A doctor should also do a complete medical examination and gather information about your recent outdoor activities in order to make a clinical diagnosis for Lyme disease.

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The Chance Of Getting Lyme Disease

Not all ticks in England carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

But it’s still important to be aware of ticks and to safely remove them as soon as possible, just in case.

Ticks that may cause Lyme disease are found all over the UK, but high-risk places include grassy and wooded areas in southern and northern England and the Scottish Highlands.

Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures that live in woods, areas with long grass, and sometimes in urban parks and gardens. They’re found all over the UK.

Ticks do not jump or fly. They attach to the skin of animals or humans that brush past them.

Once a tick bites into the skin, it feeds on blood for a few days before dropping off.

How Is Lyme Disease Treated

Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment for you based on:

  • How old you are

Lyme disease in the earliest stage is usually treated with antibiotics for 2 to 3 weeks.

Treatment will also be considered based on these and other factors:

  • If you are bitten by a tick that tests positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease

  • If you are bitten by a tick and have any of the symptoms

  • If you are bitten by a tick and are pregnant

  • If you are bitten by a tick and live in a high-risk area

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Deer Contribution To Tick Reproduction

Deer contribute to the spread of Lyme in that they provide that last blood meal to the adults. Those ticks will lay thousands of eggs at a time and boost the population of younger ticks who will be out in the spring to spread Lyme. Ticks contract Lyme from the mice in which they receive their first blood meal.

In less frequent cases, a nymph deer tick will choose a deer as a host. The blood meal from the deer is when the nymph deer tick might actually be cleared of the Borrelia infection.

There are regular references to the fact that nymph ticks spread more Lyme than adults. This fact was mostly attributed to the fact that nymphs are smaller, therefore less noticeable and will have a great chance of staying embedded long enough to transmit the disease. But, as in all things Lyme disease related, the situation is complex.

If youre concerned about ticks spreading Lyme disease on your property, please consider our tick control program. Call today to learn more.

Also Check: Is Lyme Disease A Bacterial Infection

What Are The Symptoms Of Tick Bites

What you need to know about ticks

The Mayo Clinic notes that the majority of tick bites are painless. The symptoms include redness, swelling and a sore on the skin.

If youre bitten by a tick, youll need to carefully remove it as soon as you can, grasping it by the head with tweezers and gently pulling in a slow and steady upward motion. Take care not to squeeze or twist the tick, and dont handle it with bare hands.

If you can, seal the tick in a container and place it in the freezer. If you develop symptoms, this will help the doctor identify the tick that bit you. After youve removed the tick, wash your hands and the area where you were bitten with warm water, soap, rubbing alcohol or an iodine scrub.

Do keep in mind that there are several tick-borne diseases, so the Mayo Clinic does state you should call your doctor if:

  • You arent able to completely remove the tick
  • The rash gets bigger
  • You think the bite site is infected
  • You think you were bitten by a deer tick
  • And if you experience a severe headache, difficulty breathing, paralysis or heart palpitations, the Mayo Clinic recommends calling 911 or your local emergency number.

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    Which Tick Carries Lyme Disease

    Steven Ellingson/Shutterstock.com

    In the United States, the Lyme disease-causing bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii are carried by the black-legged, or deer tick species. But how can you tell if a tick is a deer tick, and how can you prevent picking up one? And what are the warning signs and symptoms of Lyme disease? Let us get into it!

    Stage : Late Disseminated Lyme Disease

    Late disseminated Lyme disease occurs when the infection hasnt been treated in stages 1 and 2. Stage 3 can occur months or years after the tick bite.

    This stage is characterized by:

    • arthritis of one or more large joints
    • brain disorders, such as encephalopathy, which can cause short-term memory loss, difficulty concentrating, mental fogginess, problems with following conversations and sleep disturbance
    • numbness in the arms, legs, hands, or feet

    Also Check: Stage 2 Lyme Disease Rash

    Ticks Carrying Lyme Disease

    Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and rarely, Borrelia mayonii.It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left.

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    What Season Do Ticks That Carry Lyme Disease Thrive

    Pin on Lyme Disease

    Are ticks out in winter?

    Ticks that carry Lyme disease are active year-round and can survive in below-freezing temperatures, although their peak season of activity begins in April and runs through September. During this time, the hungry nymphal tick actively seeks a host, and its bite poses the greatest risk.

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    When To Seek Medical Help

    If you develop a rash after possibly being exposed to ticks, you can draw around the rash with a pen and take a photo. This way, you can check if the rash expands.

    • The rash is 5 cm in diameter or larger
    • The rash lasts more than 48 hours
    • You believe you have one or more other symptoms of Lyme disease within days, weeks or months after engaging in outdoor activities where you may be exposed to ticks

    If you have noted a bite, provide the information you noted concerning the bite:

    • The part of the body that was bitten
    • The date and the place you were when you were bitten

    If you consult a doctor, bring the tick, if possible, in a closed container such as a pill container.

    Later Signs And Symptoms

    • Severe headaches and neck stiffness
    • Additional EM rashes on other areas of the body
    • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints.
    • Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
    • Heart palpitations or an irregular heart beat
    • Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
    • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord

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    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.

  • Know the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease.
  • Contact a doctor immediately if you have an illness that resembles Lyme disease. If you were able to save the tick, bring it to your medical appointment as it may help the doctor.
  • PHAC has also prepared a Lyme disease tool kit which provides material to raise awareness and educate.

    Other Infections Carried By The Ixodes Tick

    Do you know the signs of Lyme disease?

    Human granulocytic anaplasmosis and babesiosis are also transmitted by the deer tick Ixodes scapularis. Although HGA, babesiosis, and Lyme disease are caused by the same kind of tick, these infections are entirely different diseases.

    Deer ticks can also transmit deer tick virus, a disease caused by the Powassan virus. In very rare cases, Powassan virus may cause serious brain infection .

    New tick-borne diseases, carried by Ixodes ticks as well as other tick species, continue to emerge.

    Read Also: How Does Someone Get Lyme Disease

    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.

    Warning Signs Of Lyme Disease

    While Lyme disease is always transmitted by the deer tick, not all deer ticks carry Lyme disease. Due to their small size compared to other tick species, visual detection is unreliable. According to the CDC, it takes 24-36 hours after a deer tick attaches to the host to transmit Lyme disease. It is usually not the tick you see that spreads the bacteria it is the tick you do not. Therefore, the best way to detect Lyme disease is by looking for the warning signs of infection.

    The first sign of a tick bite or removal is a small red bump. This is common for all tick bites and should resolve itself within a few days. Early symptoms that indicate Lyme disease occur within one month of being infected, and later signs may appear up to months after. Knowing the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease is crucial for your safety. Prompt treatment for Lyme disease will not only clear up the symptoms but can also save your life.

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    Can Other Bugs Give Me Lyme

    Researchers have found spirochetes in mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects. But it has not been proven that they can transmit the infection.

    A tick is uniquely suited to carry and spread Lyme disease. Spirochetes have co-evolved with ticks over millions of years. Tick saliva contains immune suppressors that help disseminate the bacteria throughout the hosts body. And, because ticks feed on many different animals, they can spread the disease widely.

    Other Canine Diseases Carried By Ticks

    Ticks that carry Lyme

    Ticks can also carry several other less common but serious bacterial diseases affecting dogs, including anaplasmosis and babesiosis.

    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 Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

    Tick bites are usually painless and most people do not know they have been bitten. Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease vary greatly from person to person, and may appear anywhere between 3 to 30 days after a person has been bitten.

    Symptoms often include:

    • Swollen lymph nodes.

    One sign of infection can be an expanding rash, sometimes referred to as a bulls eye rash because it may have rings spreading from the bite site ). It is important to note that rashes without the bulls eye may occur, and that rashes do not appear in every case of Lyme disease infection.

    The PHAC states that if left untreated, more severe symptoms may occur and can last from months to years. Severe symptoms may include:

    • Severe headaches

    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.

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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.

    Later Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

    Tick bites and lyme disease: How to recognize and prevent them | FOX 5 DC

    More serious symptoms may develop if Lyme disease is left untreated or is not treated early. These can include:

    • pain and swelling in the joints
    • nerve problems such as numbness or pain in your limbs
    • memory problems
    • difficulty concentrating

    Some of these problems will get better slowly with treatment. But they can persist if treatment is started late.

    A few people with Lyme disease go on to develop long-term symptoms similar to those of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. This is known as post-infectious Lyme disease. It’s not clear exactly why this happens. It’s likely to be related to overactivity of your immune system rather than continued infection.

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    How Is Lyme Disease Transmitted

    Ticks usually live in woods or tall grasslands in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia. Ticks can become infected with Borrelia burgdorferi by feeding on infected wild animals, and then can spread the bacteria when they feed on blood from the host. Ticks cannot fly – they hang onto small bushes or tall grasses and are usually found close to the ground. They wait for an animal or person to pass near them and when the animal or person makes contact, the ticks attach themselves to the skin to feed.

    In North America, Lyme disease is transmitted mainly by two species of ticks:

    • Blacklegged tick , Ixodes scapularis.
    • Western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacificus.

    The Public Health Agency of Canada states that there no evidence that Lyme disease can spread from person-to-person. Pets, especially dogs, can get Lyme disease, but there is no evidence that pets can spread the infection directly to humans. They may, however, carry infected ticks into the home or yard which may increase the chance of transmission.

    Are Some Locations More At Risk Than Others

    Yes and no. There are areas in which the bacteria is endemic meaning the disease is established and present more or less continually in that community.

    In Canada, blacklegged tick populations have been confirmed or are growing in the following areas:

    • Southern British Columbia.
    • Southern New Brunswick and Grand Manan Island.
    • South shore and northern mainland Nova Scotia.

    However, it is important to note that ticks can be spread by birds, in particular songbirds that feed off the forest floor. Because these birds are migratory, there is the potential for new populations of the bacteria to spread across the country. This fact means that you do not have to be in an endemic or high-risk area to be at risk of contacting ticks and the disease.

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