What Can I Do To Lower My Chances Of Getting Lyme Disease Or Any Other Disease From Ticks
Prevention begins with you! Take steps to reduce your chances of being bitten by any tick. Ticks are most active during warm weather, generally late spring through fall. However, ticks can be out any time that temperatures are above freezing. Ticks cling to vegetation and are most numerous in brushy, wooded or grassy habitats. When you are outside in an area likely to have ticks , follow these simple steps to protect yourself and your loved ones:
Monitoring For Lyme Disease In Canada
Canada monitors Lyme disease to:
- keep track of the number of people infected with Lyme disease
- identify areas where tick populations may be emerging
- identify the areas where people are most at risk of getting Lyme disease
To get as much information as possible, we work with:
- provincial and territorial public health authorities
- researchers and academics
Borrelia Burgdorferi Infectious Cycle
The infectious cycle of B burgdorferi involves colonization, infection of Ixodes ticks, and then transmission to broad a range of mammalian hosts, including humans. Variation in environmental and host conditions promotes different gene expression and changes in the composition of the membrane proteins of the spirochete. This adaptation is a critical step in the pathogenesis and transmission of Lyme disease.
The Ixodes tick progresses through four stages of development: egg, larva, nymph, and adult . Only larvae, nymphs, and adult female ticks require blood meals, and only ticks in the nymphal and adult stages can transmit B burgdorferi.
The life cycle of Ixodes ticks spans 2 years . The adult lays eggs in the spring, and the larvae emerge in the summer. The larvae feed once, in late summer, on any of a wide variety of small animals . The following spring, the larvae emerge as nymphs. Nymphs feed once, in the spring and summer. The white-footed mouse is the preferred feeding source of nymphs, but other animals apparently suffice. Nymphs molt into adults the following fall and feed once on a larger animal, with the white-tailed deer being the preferred host.
Ticks carry B burgdorferi organisms in their midgut. The bacteria are introduced into the skin by a bite from an infected tick, and disease is transmitted to humans as the spirochete is translocated from the gut to the salivary glands and then to the person at the site of the bite.
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Comparing Quests Numbers To The Latest Cdc Lyme Disease Data
In 2015, Quest found 164 cases of Lyme disease in Californiawhile the CDC acknowledged only 83 cases.
That same year, Quest found 283 cases in Florida while the CDC reported 116.
In 2016, Quest again shows twice the CDC totals for California, but an even bigger gap emerges in Florida, with Quest reporting three times as many as the CDC. See below:
And look at 2017! According to Quest, Californias positive Lyme tests increased 195% over the two-year period from 2015 to 2017. Florida showed a 77% increase over the same time span.
And, keep in mind, Quest is only one of many laboratories in the U.S. What about positive Lyme tests from other labs?
Prevention Of Lyme Disease
Reducing the risk of tick bites is one obvious strategy to prevent Lyme disease . In endemic areas, clearing brush and trees, removing leaf litter and woodpiles, and keeping grass mowed may reduce exposure to ticks. Recent data demonstrates the application of acaricide to white tailed deer prevent feeding by ticks, reducing the risk for tick-borne disease . Application of pesticides to residential properties is effective in suppressing populations of ticks, but may be harmful both to other wildlife and to people.
Tick and insect repellents that contain n,n-diethylmetatoluamide applied to the skin provide additional protection, but require reapplication every 1 to 2 hours for maximum effectiveness. Serious neurologic complications in children from either frequent or excessive application of DEET-containing repellents have been reported, but they are rare and the risk is low when these products are used according to instructions on their labels. Use of products with concentrations of DEET greater than 30% is not necessary and increases the risk of adverse effects. DEET should be applied sparingly only to exposed skin, but not to the face, hands, or skin that is either irritated or abraded. After one returns indoors, skin that was treated should be washed with soap and water. Permethrin is available in a spray for application to clothing only and is particularly effective because it kills ticks on contact.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Early symptoms of Lyme disease typically begin three to 30 days after a tick bite and can include:
- Erythema migrans rash
- Joint pain
Many of these symptoms are not specific to Lyme disease and can be caused by a variety of different factors. However, the erythema migrans rash is often characteristic of Lyme disease. This is a rash that often begins at the site of the tick bite and gradually expands. The center of the rash may clear as it enlarges, giving it the appearance of a bull’s eye or target. The rash usually appears within seven to 14 days after the tick bite. The rash may be warm, but it is usually not painful or itchy. See on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ‘s website.
While the EM rash is commonly associated with Lyme disease, not everyone infected with Lyme bacteria will develop a rash. About 30 percent of confirmed cases of Lyme disease reported to the CDC do not have an EM rash at the time of their diagnosis. These cases report joint pain and/or joint swelling at the time of their diagnosis more frequently than cases with an EM rash. For more information, see CDC’s Lyme disease signs and symptoms.
Reported Cases Of Lyme Disease United States 2019
1 dot placed randomly within county of residence for each confirmed case
Each dot represents one case of Lyme disease and is placed randomly in the patients county of residence. The presence of a dot in a state does not necessarily mean that Lyme disease was acquired in that state. People travel between states, and the place of residence is sometimes different from the place where the patient became infected. Many high incidence states have modified surveillance practices. Contact your state health department for more information.
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Lyme Disease Risk Areas
Blacklegged ticks are spreading to new areas in Canada in part due to climate change. They can also spread by travelling on birds and deer. You can sometimes find blacklegged ticks in areas outside of where they’re known to live.
You’re most likely to encounter ticks during the spring, summer and fall. However, ticks can be active at any time of the year when the temperature is consistently above freezing. The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to protect yourself against tick bites. Always take precautions against tick bites when you’re in wooded or grassy areas.
Using data from active and passive tick monitoring, the Public Health Agency of Canada identifies areas where:
- tick populations may be emerging
- people are most at risk of getting Lyme disease
Check if you’re in a risk area. Enter the first 3 characters of your postal code or municipality in the filter field below.
Researcher Seeks Better Picture Of Lyme Disease Cases In Texas
More than 30,000 new cases of Lyme disease are reported each year to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , although this number is believed to be an underestimate of the total number of cases of Lyme disease actually diagnosed in the U.S.
State-level surveillance is one way of tracking when and where the disease occurs, but recent estimates using other methods suggest that the actual number of patients may be more than 10 times higher than the number reported to the CDC.
In a study published June 21 in the journal Healthcare, a researcher from The University of Texas at Dallas employed new approaches to tick-borne disease surveillance in Texas with the goal of linking differing forms of surveillance data into one comprehensive picture.
Dr. Sarah Maxwell, corresponding author of the study and associate professor of public and nonprofit management in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences , and her co-authors found that mapping the geographic locations of self-reported tick bite encounters with CDC-confirmed Lyme disease cases could offer a granular-level surveillance method and aid in assessing Lyme disease risk in areas perceived to be nonendemic to the tick-borne pathogen.
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Where Does Lyme Disease Occur In Ohio
Blacklegged ticks that carry Lyme disease are most commonly found in the eastern and southern areas of the state, but are likely to occur in suitable wooded habitat throughout most or all of Ohio. On the map below, each dot represents one case of Lyme disease and is placed randomly in the patient’s county of residence. The presence of a dot does not necessarily mean that the Lyme disease infection was acquired in Ohio. The place of residence can be different from the place where the patient became infected.
Grant Supports New Study With Farmworkers
Dr. Sarah Maxwell, associate professor of public and nonprofit management in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences , recently received a grant that will expand her scholarship on Lyme disease in Texas.
The $50,000 award from the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation will be used to fund vector-borne illness research and support innovative efforts in health care among migrants and seasonal farmworkers.
Vectors are living organisms, including insects, that can transmit infectious pathogens to humans. Among migrant workers in agricultural jobs, the dangers of vector-borne illnesses like Lyme disease, which results from a tick bite, are largely unrecognized.
Anytime you have an entire population of workers potentially exposed to an occupational health hazard, it becomes disconcerting, Maxwell said. Lyme disease can happen to anyone. If this project shows that Lyme disease is present in some Texas counties, it should be a wake-up call to county health departments and the medical community that there needs to be more widespread testing in endemic counties in Texas.
Media Contact: Brittany Magelssen, UT Dallas, 972-883-4357, , or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, 883-2155, .
Who Is At Risk In Ohio
Anyone who spends time outdoors can be at risk for Lyme disease. The tick that transmits Lyme disease in Ohio, the blacklegged tick, is most often found in wooded, brushy areas. People who frequent these settings may be at increased risk of contracting Lyme disease.
However, it does not take a hike in the forest to encounter blacklegged ticks. The property around many homes can also provide suitable habitat for ticks, particularly those in yards that are next to woods or brushy areas or those with tall grass or leaf litter. That is why it is important to take the necessary steps to prevent tick bites.
Ohioans of all ages get sick with Lyme disease, but data collected by the Zoonotic Disease Program suggest that males are more at risk for Lyme disease than females. Boys between the ages of ten and 14 years appear to be at particularly high risk. Many cases of Lyme disease are reported in females between the ages of five and nine.
How Is Lyme Disease Spread
Lyme disease is spread by the bite of an infected black-legged tick. The tick usually must be attached to a person for at least 24 hours before it can spread the germ. Black-legged ticks in Massachusetts can also carry the germs that cause babesiosis and human granulocytic anaplasmosis). These ticks are capable of spreading more than one type of germ in a single bite.
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Racial Differences In Incidence
Lyme disease is reported primarily in whites, although it occurs in individuals of all races. No genetic explanation is known for this the disparity most likely stems from social or environmental factors and possibly to the fact that erythema migrans is more difficult to diagnose in dark-skinned individuals.
Lyme Sci: Lyme Has Been Found In All 50 States And Is On The Rise
Quest Diagnostics has released its findings from over six million Lyme disease lab tests taken over the last seven years.
Quests report says Lyme has been detected in all 50 states and the District of Columbiaand that the number of cases continues to rise nationwide.
This report provides the first national analysis of Lyme disease based on laboratory data.
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Lyme Disease Incidence In Washington State
According to a 2016 document by the Washington State Department of Health:
In recent years, 8 to 25 reports of Lyme disease meeting case definition are received annually. Almost all Washington cases are the result of tick exposure out of state endemic Lyme disease is not common, with generally only 0 to 3 cases per year. The risk of infection in-state is low throughout the state. Between 1/2005 and 12/2016, only 13 confirmed Lyme cases with in-state exposure were documented.
Human Cases Of Lyme Disease In Canada
Between 2009 and 2019, provincial public health units have reported 10,150 human cases of Lyme disease across Canada.
Number of human reported Lyme disease cases from 2009 to 2019
Reported Lyme disease cases are from those who got the disease while in Canada or while abroad . The 2016 to 2019 Lyme disease cases are reported based on 2016 the Lyme disease case definition. There’s under-reporting because some cases are undetected or unreported.
All 10 provinces voluntarily provided data over the 11-year period. Territories haven’t reported any cases to the Public Health Agency of Canada since Lyme disease became nationally notifiable in 2009. This is because they haven’t had any Lyme disease cases.
Nationally notifiable diseases are infectious diseases identified by the federal, provincial and territorial governments as priorities for monitoring. Provinces and territories report annual notifiable disease data to the federal government. This helps the Public Health Agency of Canada monitor trends within provinces and across the country.
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Inspection And Tick Removal
Because recommendations for avoidance are not always practical, particularly for children and during the summer, daily close inspection for ticks should be performed each time one has been outdoors. Parents of children in endemic areas must be vigilant to check for ticksespecially the nymphs, because of their smaller size from the spring to the fall. Checking inside skin folds, behind ears, the umbilicus, groin, axilla, hairline, and scalp must be routine. If one tick is found, search thoroughly for others.
See the image below for a tick removal diagram and instructions.
While these instructions may represent the optimal method for removing the tick, it is more important to remove it promptly than to delay removing it while obtaining forceps or gloves.
A common misperception is that pressing a hot match to the tick or trying to smother it with petroleum jelly, gasoline, nail polish, or other noxious substances is beneficial. This only prolongs exposure time and may cause the tick to eject infectious organisms into the body. Finally, do not squeeze, crush, or puncture the body of the tick because its fluids may contain infectious organisms.
Once the tick is removed, wash the bite area with soap and water or with an antiseptic to destroy any contaminating microorganisms. Additionally, the person who removed the tick should wash his or her hands. The removed tick should be submitted for species identification.
Erythema Migrans And Other Skin Manifestations
Figure 1. Erythema migrans skin lesions from patients in Europe and the United States .
Figure 2. Southern tick-associated rash illness skin lesions. Adapted from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases.
In the United States, an entity referred to as southern tick-associated rash illness is associated with a skin lesion very similar to erythema migrans . STARI, however, occurs after the bite of ticks of a different species, Amblyomma americanum, and is not caused by Lyme borrelia. The etiology of STARI has not been determined. A. americanum ticks are most frequently found in the southeastern and south-central United States, but their range is spreading to geographic areas where I. scapularis tick bites are common . The potential for diagnostic confusion clearly exists in areas such as Long Island, New York, where both tick species coexist. STARI does not occur in Europe, presumably because A. americanum ticks are not found in that geographic area. Available, but limited, data suggest that STARI can be distinguished from erythema migrans on the basis of different serum metabolic profiles .
Figure 3. A) Borrelial lymphocytoma on nipple, showing local swelling and a remnant of erythema migrans on chest at the time of diagnosis, the lesions had been noticed for 6 weeks. B)…
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