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How To Prevent Lyme Disease

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Stage : Early Disseminated Lyme Disease

How to prevent Lyme Disease

Early disseminated Lyme disease occurs several weeks to months after the tick bite.

Youll have a general feeling of being unwell, and a rash may appear in areas other than the tick bite.

This stage of the disease is primarily characterized by evidence of systemic infection, which means infection has spread throughout the body, including to other organs.

Symptoms can include:

  • disturbances in heart rhythm, which can be caused by Lyme carditis
  • neurologic conditions, such as numbness, tingling, facial and cranial nerve palsies, and meningitis

The symptoms of stages 1 and 2 can overlap.

Prepare Yourself To Head Out The Door

Dress appropriately with long sleeves and long pants, if possible. Tuck pants into shoes to expose as little skin as possible, preventing unwanted bites.

Using 0.5% permethrin bug repellant will help keep ticks from wanting to jump onto you or your family while outdoors. Outdoor-based repellants are excellent choices, as they often carry the recommended amount of active ingredients to discourage pests from seeking you out as their next meal. While the idea of chemicals might worry certain parents, the risks of Lyme Disease infection greatly outweigh the risk of insect repellant for most moms and dads.

Enjoy The Outdoors Safely

  • Avoid exposure in wooded, overgrown areas.
  • Stay on marked trails when hiking.
  • Stay out of tall grass & un-cleared areas of the forest floor.

Going for a walk or a hike? Stay in the middle of the paths, away from the high grass and brush that may be on the edges of your hiking trail. Avoid going into the tall grass and brush if you can. Sports and athletic fields with well-groomed sunny grass areas are safer. However, make sure to stay out of the brush and tall grass at the edges of the fields when possible.

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Stage : Later Symptoms

  • shooting pains, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • heart palpitations

These symptoms may go away without treatment within a few weeks or months. However, some people develop chronic Lyme disease and have lasting symptoms.

Around of people who do not receive treatment for the disease develop recurrent episodes of arthritis with severe swelling, especially in the large joints.

Keeping Your Family Safe

How Best to Prevent Tick Bites and Avoid Lyme Disease ...

For parents, kids safety is of the utmost importance, including their trips outside. When the sun is shining and the weather is just perfect, its hard to keep yourself and your children cooped up inside. However, for parents in heavily populated tick areas, the idea of spending extended time outdoors can dredge up a bit of warranted anxiety. Because kids are vivacious, and exploratory, they have no qualms about sitting in mulch piles and pulling grass, picking flowers, and chasing animals through the lawn. If you plan on spending time outside on those beautiful days, there are a few tips and tricks for parents to keep their child protected from the possibility of infection of Lyme.

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How Can You Prevent Lyme Disease

The best way to protect against Lyme disease is to prevent tick bites. Check the detailed risk areas map to find out where infected ticks are most likely to be found. Remember, as tick populations spread, the risk of acquiring Lyme disease will occur outside these areas in the future. Ticks can be dispersed out of these areas by migratory birds so there is a low risk of being bitten by a tick outside of the known risk areas.

It is recommended that Canadians travelling to highly Lyme endemic areas of the US and Europe, apply permethrin treatments to their clothing or use clothing pre-treated with permethrin. These products can be obtained in some travel clinics or from outdoors retailers when in the US.

Ticks can be infected with more than one type of bacteria that can cause human illness. Guarding against tick bites will protect you from more than just Lyme disease.

Here are some ways to protect yourself if you venture into wooded or forested areas within risk areas for Lyme disease:

Use Tick Repellent That Contains Deet On Your Skin

A 2002 New England Journal of Medicine study found that among all repellents, N-diethyl-m-toluamide was the most effective at keeping bugs off peoples bodies.

The best way to avoid ticks is by using a product with 20% 30% DEET. You can spray it on your skin, and this will keep the pesky ticks away for hours.

Is it safe?

Yes! Several studies have found that DEET is just fine as long as you follow the instructions posted on the can.

The EPA agrees as long as we follow the label. Dont ingest it. Dont get it in your eyeballs, and youll be just fine.

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How To Prevent Lyme Disease: Tips On Avoiding Ticks

Pictured: a black-legged tick in both normal and engorged form.

To prevent tick bites, follow these tips:

  • If youre out walking or hiking, avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter, and walk in the center of trails.
  • Use insect repellents that contain 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin and clothing, for tick protection that lasts up to several hours. Interested in DEET-free repellents that are effective on ticks? Find the right tick repellent for you.
  • Use products that contain permethrin to treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks, and tents, after being in a tick-infested area.
  • Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.
  • Conduct a full-body tick check using a handheld or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body upon return from tick-infested areas.
  • Examine clothing, gear, and pets for ticks.
  • After coming in from walking or hiking through a wooded area, place clothing in a dryer on high heat for an hour to kill any ticks that might be lurking.

What You Should Know About Blacklegged Tick Bites

How to Prevent Lyme Disease

When it comes to Lyme and other tick-borne illness, prevention is the best form of medicine. When spending time in areas where ticks may be present, wear long sleeves and pants, tuck your pants into your socks, and wear tick repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Pretreat outdoor clothing and gear with permethrin, an insecticide that kills ticks on contact. Clothing can be treated at home with sprays or dips that are effective for 2-6 weeks . Always check yourself for ticks after each potential exposure check pets, even those treated with tick repellents, after every trip outside. For more on tick bite prevention, see our Lyme brochure.

If you are bitten by a tick, here is information you should have.

The information below is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace or supersede patient care by a healthcare provider. If you suspect the presence of a tick-borne illness, you should consult a healthcare provider who is familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases.

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Previous Research On Prevention Interventions For Ld

Prevention is preferable to treating the consequences of tick-borne diseases, therefore, understanding which strategies are effective in preventing transmission to humans is beneficial. Four systematic reviews on LD prevention were located in our evidence map on LD in humans , discussed, below.

suggested a number of effective educational interventions to encourage protective behaviours against tick-borne disease. These included postal information, educational shows and videos, one-to-one education with a physician, public campaigns, and interactive programmes for children. However, of the nine studies reviewed, over half adopted a non-controlled design, therefore, there is some uncertainty about the robustness of their conclusions.

Only one review examined the effect of antibiotic prophylaxis . In this review, concluded that pooled data from four placebo-controlled trials supported the use of antibiotic prophylaxis in endemic areas.

Existing reviews on the prevention of LD in humans have each focused on a single strategy, such as education, vaccination or antibiotic prophylaxis. We found no systematic reviews on personal protection or domestic protection , or deer interventions .

This review aims to bring together the evidence on all prevention strategies to establish which interventions that aim to prevent LD in humans are effective.

Lyme Disease In Dogs And Other Pets

Household pets can get Lyme disease, too. Typical symptoms in animals include swollen joints and lameness, fever, and loss of appetite. Experts in the FDAs Center for Veterinary Medicine say that dogs with Lyme disease occasionally develop serious kidney disease that can be fatal.

There are ways you can reduce your pets risk for tick bites and Lyme disease. Regularly checking pets for all types of ticks, for instance, reduces the risk of infection for both pet and owner. Avoid allowing your dog to roam in tick-infested areas.

Topical, oral and/or collar products are also very important in preventing Lyme disease in dogs.

There are two basic types of Lyme disease vaccines available for dogs. Talk to your veterinarian to see if vaccination is appropriate for your dog. There is no vaccination for cats, which do not seem susceptible to Lyme disease.

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What Is Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. B. burgdorferi is transmitted to humans by a bite from an infected black-legged or deer tick. The tick becomes infected after feeding on infected deer, birds, or mice.

A tick has to be present on the skin for at least 36 hours to transmit the infection. Many people with Lyme disease have no memory of a tick bite.

Lyme disease was first recognized in the town of Old Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975. Its the most common tickborne illness in Europe and the United States.

People who live or spend time in wooded areas known for transmission of the disease are more likely to get this illness. People with domesticated animals that visit wooded areas also have a higher risk of getting Lyme disease.

Can I Prevent Lyme Disease

19 best images about Prevent Lyme Disease on Pinterest ...

Not all cases of Lyme disease can be prevented. But you can protect yourself from tick bites. If you go into an area where ticks live, be sure to:

  • Stay in the middle of the trail instead of going through high grass or the woods.
  • Wear closed shoes or boots, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants. Tuck pant legs into shoes or boots to prevent ticks from crawling up legs.
  • Use an insect repellent.
  • Consider treating your clothing and gear with permethrin to repel ticks.
  • Wear light-colored clothing to help you see ticks more easily.
  • Shower and wash hair after being outside to remove ticks before they attach.
  • Remove any ticks you find right away.

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Protect With Your Clothing

If you wear long pants, you should tuck your pant legs in your socks. And your t-shirt tucked into your pants so the ticks cant get into those areas.

Also, button-up shirts between each button because theres an opening. The ticks can crawl onto there any day. In badly infested areas, people often use duct tape wrapped around the tucked-in socks.

Ticks are also easier to be seen in light colors clothes. You can protect yourself by wearing light-colored clothing .

So, the lightness of the clothing allows you to see the ticks when theyre on you. You can look and do periodic tick checks while youre outside.

How Do These Findings Compare With Previous Research

No systematic reviews were identified that addressed personal protection, domestic strategies or deer-targeting programmes, and to our knowledge, this is the first time that the full range of approaches to prevention has been collectively reviewed systematically.

Consistent with , the findings indicate that educational material could be effective among adults. Nonetheless, it is still unknown which educational methods, if any, could modify behaviour in such a way that the rate of tick-borne illness is reduced. The evidence from two child-based intervention studies, published since , was mixed.

A range of educational methods was examined that often contained multiple components, including modelling of tick removal ), practice in finding ticks on a rubber arm , feedback , and social interaction . This brings into question which of the elements was responsible for modifying changes in perception and behaviour, where it occurred.

The findings on vaccination are consistent with , suggesting that the newer multivalent vaccines produce an immune response. Nonetheless, due to short follow-up periods, and small sample sizes, consistent with , it is concluded that more robust evidence is needed to examine potential adverse effects and to guide the development and testing of a marketable vaccine to prevent LD in humans.

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Avoid Tick Infested Areas

Although generally only about 1-5% of all deer ticks are infected with Lyme disease bacteria, in some areas more than half of them harbor the germs. More people with Lyme disease become infected during May through July, when immature ticks are most prevalent. In warm climates, deer ticks thrive and bite during the winter months as well.

Deer ticks are most often found in wooded and bushy areas with tall grass and leaf litter, as well as nearby shady grasslands, and are especially common where the two areas merge. They can also inhabit lawns and gardens, especially at the edges of woodlands and near older stone walls.

Because adult ticks feed on deer, areas where deer are frequently seen are likely to harbor large numbers of deer ticks. When you do enter tick areas, walk in the middle of trails to avoid contact with overgrown grass, bushes, and leaf litter. A local park service or health department can tell you which areas are tick infested.

Prevention Of Lyme Disease: A Review Of The Evidence

How to prevent lyme disease
  • Gregory A. PolandCorrespondenceAddress reprint requests and correspondence to Gregory A. Poland, MD, Mayo Vaccine Research Group, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905AffiliationsMayo Vaccine Research Group, Clinical Pharmacology Unit, and Division of General Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn

Healthy People 2010Ixodes scapularisI scapularisBorrelia burgdorferiMor Mortal Wkly Rep CDC Surveill Summ.Arthritis Rheum.

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Borrelia burgdorferiBorrelia gariniiInt J Syst Bacteriol.

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Peromyscus leucopusAm J Trop Med Hyg.

  • Lyme Disease Vaccine Study Group
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Borrelia burgdorferiN Engl J Med.Ixodes scapularisIxodes pacificusJ Med Entomol.Mor Mortal Wkly Rep CDC Surveill Summ.

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Borrelia burgdorferiJ Clin Microbiol.

Healthy People 2010Healthy People 2010Mor Mortal Wkly Rep CDC Surveill Summ.

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How Can I Prevent Lyme Disease

  • Avoid tick-infested areas, particularly in May, June, and July.
  • Wear shoes, long pants tucked into socks or pant legs, and long sleeves when outside in areas where there are deer ticks.
  • Use insect repellent with 20%-30% DEET around your ankles, other areas of bare skin, and clothes.
  • Check for ticks, especially around the armpits, groin, scalp, belt line, neck and head after being in areas where there may be ticks.
  • Remove deer ticks on your skin as soon as you see them.

Overview Of Included Studies

Of 82 full texts screened, sixteen met our inclusion criteria. Searching the reference lists of four systematic reviews did not lead to any further eligible studies. The flow of literature through the review, is reported in Appendix B.

Five types of intervention were identified: personal protection , domestic strategies , education , vaccination , and deer-targeted programmes . None of the antibiotic prophylaxis interventions, screened at full text, met our criterion of published in 2002 or later.

Included evaluations were conducted in the USA , or Europe . Study designs included randomised controlled trials , matched case-control studies , and observational controlled studies . Seven studies each, targeted the general population and adults only two targeted children. All studies, but one, were rated as low-quality . Characteristics of the included studies and their quality assessments are provided in the appendices .

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Talk To Your Healthcare Provider

If you answer “yes” to the following questions, discuss the possibilities of taking antibiotics with your healthcare provider or healthcare provider:

  • Were you in an area where Lyme disease is common when you acquired the tick bite?
  • Was the tick attached for at least one full day?
  • Has it been less than three days since you removed the tick or since it fell off of you?

Although taking antibiotics after a tick bite is not routinely recommended, it may be beneficial for some people in areas where Lyme disease is common. Your healthcare provider must determine whether the advantages of prescribing antibiotics after a tick bite outweigh the disadvantages.

For deer tick bites in which the tick was on the skin for over 24 hours, a single dose of doxycycline can decrease the chance of Lyme disease.

Lyme Disease Healthcare Provider Discussion Guide

Get our printable guide for your next healthcare provider’s appointment to help you ask the right questions.

What To Look For

Ticked Off: Understanding &  Preventing Lyme Disease

In kids, the first sign parents often come across is the infamous bullseye rash, or erythema migrans. Additional signs and symptoms can include : nausea, headaches, joint stiffness or pain, dizziness, and shortness of breath. If your child appears to have a rash, is experiencing any of these mentioned symptoms, or you have found a tick embedded in your childs skin, you should call your childs pediatrician right away for further treatment or assessment. Most doctors will remove the tick in the office and send it off for testing to determine if it was a carrier for Lyme. Additional testing of the affected person may be necessary depending on the results of the ticks Lyme testing.

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