After You Come Indoors
Check your clothing for ticks. Ticks may be carried into the house on clothing. Any ticks that are found should be removed. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. Cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks.
Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and daypacks.
Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and may be effective in reducing the risk of other tickborne diseases. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check.
Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Check these parts of your body and your childs body for ticks:
- Under the arms
- In and around the ears
- Inside belly button
- In and around the hair
- Between the legs
Can I Prevent Lyme Disease
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.
What Is The Outlook For Someone With Lyme Disease
Most of the people who get Lyme disease and treated early will be fine.
Even after proper treatment, some patients may experience lingering fatigue, achiness or headaches. This does not signify ongoing infection and will not respond to additional antibiotics. The majority of people in this group will have symptoms resolve over the next 1-6 months.
Chronic Lyme Syndrome
Chronic Lyme syndrome is a term used by some that includes the symptoms of Post-Lyme syndrome outlined above. This is a controversial topic with no accepted etiology and no proven cause or association.
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What Should You Do If You Get Bitten By A Blacklegged Tick
Ticks attach themselves to the skin. Most humans are infected through the bite of immature ticks called nymphs. Adult ticks can also transmit Lyme disease bacteria. Their bite is usually painless, so you may not know you’ve been bitten.
If you notice a tick has attached itself, remove it as soon as possible. Removing ticks within 24 to 36 hours usually prevents infection. Follow these steps to learn how to properly remove a tick.
Who Gets Lyme Disease
Anyone bitten by an infected deer tick can get Lyme disease. Most U.S. cases of Lyme disease happen in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. But Lyme disease is found in other parts of the world, too.
Besides living in one of these areas, other things that might increase your risk include:
- spending a lot of time outdoors in tall grass, brush, shrubs, or wooded areas
- having pets that may carry ticks indoors
- activities such as yardwork, hiking, camping, fishing, or hunting in tick-infested areas
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What Is Cdc Doing
CDC is currently conducting research to understand what concerns healthcare providers and the public may have about any potential Lyme disease vaccines. Once a Lyme disease vaccine is approved as safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration , CDC will work with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to develop recommendations about where in the U.S. the public might benefit from a Lyme disease vaccine. CDC will communicate these recommendations to increase awareness of a vaccine among the public and clinicians to prevent Lyme disease in the United States.
How Is Lyme Disease Treated
Nearly all people with Lyme disease can be effectively treated with antibiotics, usually doxycycline or amoxicillin. The duration of treatment depends on the stage of infection. In general, the sooner such therapy is initiated following infection, the quicker and more complete the recovery.
Pregnant women should be treated for Lyme disease as well. There is, however, no evidence that a fetus can be infected from its mother. Additionally, NO strong evidence exists to suggest miscarriages are more likely after Lyme.
About Ticks And Lyme Disease
Ticks are small crawling bugs in the spider family. They are arachnids, not insects. There are hundreds of different kinds of ticks in the world. Many of them carry bacteria, viruses or other pathogens that cause disease in humans and/or animals.
In the midwestern and eastern United States, Ixodes scapularis or deer tick is the primary vector of Lyme disease. On the West Coast, the spirochete is carried by Ixodes pacificus or western black-legged tick. In the South, lone star ticks can also transmit Lyme disease or a closely related illness.
Ticks have four life stages: egg, larva, nymph and adult. In each stage after hatching, they suck blood from animals like mice, squirrels, birds and deer. Then they drop off, enter a dormant period and molt to enter the next stage.
Ticks dont start out being infected with Lyme. They get it by feeding on an infected animal, often a mouse or other small rodent. Then, they pass it along to the next animal or person they bite.
Lyme Disease: Symptoms And Stages
Symptoms of early-stage Lyme disease include:
- muscle and joint aches
- swollen lymph nodes
Another common symptom of Lyme disease is a rash . As many as 80% of infected people may develop a rash, and roughly 20% of the time the rash has a characteristic bull’s-eye appearance.
When left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.
Later-stage symptoms may not appear until weeks or months after a tick bite occurs. They include:
- heart-rhythm irregularities
- nervous system abnormalities
Permanent damage to the joints or the nervous system can develop in patients with late Lyme disease. It is rarely, if ever, fatal.
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How Long Does It Take The Tick To Transmit Lyme
Experts disagree about how long it takes a tick to transmit Lyme disease. The CDC says that in most cases, the tick must be attached more than 24 hours.
We think that gives people a false sense of security. In some research studies, 5-7% of nymphs transmitted the Lyme bacteria in less than 24 hours. One paper reported on a case of Lyme disease transmitted after six hours of tick attachment. The risk may be low the first day, but its not zero.
Furthermore, some studies show that only 30% of patients with Lyme disease recall a tick bite. If people dont even realize that they were bitten, how could they know how long the tick was attached?
The longer a tick stays on you, the more likely it will transmit disease. Its important to find and remove any tick as soon as possible.
Stage : Early Localized Disease
Symptoms of Lyme disease usually start 1 to 2 weeks after the tick bite. One of the earliest signs of the disease is a bulls-eye rash.
The rash occurs at the site of the tick bite, usually, but not always, as a central red spot surrounded by a clear spot with an area of redness at the edge. It may be warm to the touch, but it isnt painful and doesnt itch. This rash will gradually fade in most people.
The formal name for this rash is erythema migrans. Erythema migrans is said to be characteristic of Lyme disease. However, many people dont have this symptom.
Some people have a rash thats solid red, while people with dark complexions may have a rash that resembles a bruise.
The rash can occur with or without systemic viral or flu-like symptoms.
Other symptoms commonly seen in this stage of Lyme disease include:
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What To Do If You Find An Attached Tick
Remove the attached tick as soon as you notice it. Grasp the tick with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and pull it straight out. For more information about removing ticks, see the tick removal page.
Watch for signs of sickness such as rash or fever in the days and weeks following the bite. Your risk of getting a tickborne disease depends on many factors, including where you live, the type of tick that bit you, and how long the tick was attached. Be sure to see a health care provider if you become sick after a tick bite, have a rash or a fever.
Lyme Disease Is Spread By The Bite Of An Infected Black
Be Tick Aware
Practicing good tick bite prevention habits is the best way to prevent Lyme disease and other tick-
borne illnesses. Good habits range from what clothing you wear, where you walk, and how often you check for ticks. Simply, its important to Be Tick AWARE.
AVOID areas where ticks live. Ticks thrive in wood piles, leaf litter, long grass, beach grass, bushy areas, stone walls, and perimeters where the lawn meets the woods.
WEAR light-colored clothing to spot ticks more easily long-sleeved shirt tucked in at the waist, long pants tucked into high socks, closed-toe shoes, and a hat with your hair tucked in, if possible. Do not walk in the grass barefoot or in open sandals, even if its cut short.
APPLY EPS-approved tick repellent and insecticide to skin, clothing, and shoes as directed.
REMOVE clothing upon entering the home toss into the dryer at high temperature for 10-15 minutes to kill live ticks. Putting them in the washer, however, will not.
EXAMINE yourself and your pets for ticks daily. Feel for bumps paying close attention to the back of knees, groin, armpits, in and behind the ears, belly button, and scalp. Check everywhere ticks love to hide! Shower or bathe as soon as possible to wash away unattached ticks. If you find a tick, remove it quick! The longer it is attached, the more likely it will transmit a disease.
Protect Your Pets
Ask your veterinarian about tick repellent products for your pets.
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Prevention Of Lyme Disease
The deer ticks that transmit Lyme disease are very small and difficult to see. It is important that you educate yourself and your loved ones with the following pro-active preventative measures to minimize your Lyme disease risk.
- When outside wear protective clothing treated with tick pesticides such as permethrin and treat your skin with tick repellent such as deet or Nootkatone.
- Enjoy the outdoors more safely by staying on marked trails and out of tall grass and leaf litter.
- Create a tick-free zone around your house.
- Perform daily tick checks especially after coming in from the out of doors and showering.
- Remove ticks once found immediately by grasping with a tweezer and pulling them straight off the skin without twisting. Pull by the head, the part closest to the body, not the belly. Wash the bite site with soap and water and apply rubbing alcohol or antiseptic. See more details on Tick Removal below.
- Put clothes in dryer on high heat for 15 minutes after being outside
- If rash appears, take a photo, write down the date, and track your symptoms. Call or visit your doctor immediately.
- for additional prevention information.
ALTHOUGH GREATER IN SUMMER MONTHS, THE RISK FOR LYME DISEASE IS YEAR-ROUND
What to do after a tick bite
Tips for Removing the Tick
You cant get sick from a tick that is crawling on you but has not yet attached. Ticks must bite you to spread their germs. It the tick is attached it will be hard to pull off.
Other Health and Wellness Tips
Where Blacklegged Ticks Live
We continue to track where infected and uninfected blacklegged ticks are being found.
Public Health Ontarios Lyme disease page has a map that shows areas in Ontario where they estimate you are more likely to find blacklegged ticks.
Blacklegged ticks are spreading to new areas of the province because of climate change. They can also spread by traveling on birds and deer. While the probability is low, it is possible to find an infected tick almost anywhere in Ontario.
Ticks are most active in spring and summer, but can be found at any time of the year when the temperature is above freezing.
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Perform Tick Checks After Coming In From The Out Of Doors And Showering
- The risk of getting Lyme disease is greater the longer a tick is attached. Therefore, doing tick checks is important so they can be removed before they transmit Lyme disease.
- Shower daily.
- Common sites of attachment: behind knees, underarm, scalp, navel, groin, buttocks, back.
The most important thing is to get ticks off of you before they attach and have the chance to transmit Lyme disease.
Tick checks are performed two ways:
- Physical Inspections or feeling for ticks, because ticks are very small, and sometimes arent seen. By feeling for ticks, you may discover ticks that are in hidden areas, such as behind your knee or in your armpit, where you wouldnt be able to easily see them.
- Visual inspections should be done as well, looking for the very small pinpoint-sized dark specks that are the nymph stage ticks present at this time of the year.
You may need help from somebody to look on your back for ticks. Parents should inspect their childs entire body daily for ticks.
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.
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What Can I Do To Chemically Control Ticks In My Yard
- You should talk to a licensed commercial pesticide applicator if you want to apply pesticides to your yard. Pesticides do pose risks if improperly used.
- A single spray of pesticide product labeled for wide-area tick control, applied with appropriate volume and pressure, can be effective in controlling ticks through the summer.
- A second application in the fall can kill adult ticks and help reduce tick populations the following year.
- Spraying open fields and lawns is not necessary.
- Your yard is not often your only exposure to ticks and tick habitat. It is important to do daily preventative measures to avoid tick bites, like daily tick checks and wearing repellents.
Early Detection Is Key
Stephen Morse, PhD, an epidemiologist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, said that the findings were reassuring.
The general wisdom about it was even if you didnt find the tick immediately it would take about 48 hours, to contract Lyme disease, said Morse. This seems to be true here, too.
Morse said the data can help to inform people on how to enjoy the outdoors safely.
He pointed out that in areas with high numbers of ticks, people may need to take precautions even if they just go into their own backyards.
If youve got a nice backyard, use that mosquito repellent or bug repellent, he said.
In addition, there are obviously the usual precautions of dont leave a lot of exposed skin, and be careful if youre climbing the underbrush.
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Tick Prevention And Property Management
Reducing your exposure to ticks lowers your chances of getting a tickborne disease. While it is good to take preventative measures against ticks all year, you should be extra careful during warmer months when ticks are most active. If you work or play outdoors, you should:
- Wear EPA-approved repellents.
- Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
- Walk in the center of trails.
- Wear long-sleeved, light-colored clothing.
- Tuck your pant legs into your socks and your shirt into your pants.
- Check your clothing and gear for ticks and do a full-body tick check when coming back indoors. Pay special attention to under the arms, behind the knees, between the legs, in and around the ears, in the belly button, around the waist, and in the hair.
- Take a shower within two hours after spending time outdoors, which will wash off any unattached ticks.
How To Avoid Getting A Tick Bite
You might be at risk if you live, work in, or visit a wooded area, or an area with tall grasses and bushes .
You may also be at risk if you are involved in outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and gardening.
You may be bitten by a tick and not even know it.
Heres what you can do to avoid getting a tick bite.
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