What Season Do Ticks That Carry Lyme Disease Thrive
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.
Key Points About Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi.
Many people infected with the Lyme bacteria will never have symptoms and may cure it on their own without treatment.
Lyme disease, if symptomatic, usually starts with a rash that is often described as a bullseye.
Lyme disease is generally easy to diagnose based on symptoms and a history of a tick bite or exposure. Blood tests may also be used, and rarely, spinal fluid or joint fluid may be tested.
Lyme disease in the earliest stage is usually treated with antibiotics for 2 to 3 weeks. Some people develop complications if the infection is not found early.
People arent able to become immune to Lyme disease. You can get it again if you get another tick bite.
Preventing tick bites is the best prevention for Lyme disease. If a tick is found on your body in the first 72 hours, your healthcare provider may give you a preventive antibiotic.
How Do I Know If I Have A Tick Bite
Many people who develop the disease do not remember seeing ticks or being bitten. Tick bites commonly occur from May to September in North America, although blacklegged ticks can be active most of the year. Ticks sometimes move around on the body but they usually attach themselves to the skin and stay in one place. Before feeding, ticks look like small, brown scabs or freckles. After feeding, ticks may swell considerably, and could be as big as a raisin or a small grape.
Follow the link for more information about blacklegged ticks from the Government of Canada.
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How To Spot And Remove Ticks
Once youve come in from outside, one of the best ways to check yourself for ticks is to take a shower and bath.
Other than that, do your best to check your clothes, especially the folds of your clothes, knowing that ticks can be very small and hard to spot. Running your hands through your hair is also a good idea.
Are Newer More Effective Treatments On The Horizon
Lewis team has developed a possible treatment that uses a targeted antibiotic to eradicate the spiral-shaped bacterium causing Lyme disease that doesnt appear to harm the gut microbiome the way broad spectrum antibiotics such as doxycycline appear to do.
Its possible that damage to the microbiome is associated with the cardiac, neurological and immune system problems associated with chronic Lyme, Lewis says.
Treatment with the antibiotic known as Hygromycin A has cleared Lyme disease in lab mice, Lewis says.
His team has licensed the compound to a biotech company called Flightpath for further development and a clinical investigation.
If all goes well with Flightpaths plans, it will still be a couple of years before Hygromycin A is tested in FDA-approved trials, Lewis says.
This just shows you the importance of preventing a tick bite in the first place, says Dapsis, who calls himself an anti-Lyme evangelist.
He says Lyme disease isnt just a New England problem. Its in 49 statesevery state but Hawaii.
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Who’s At Risk Of Lyme Disease
The risk of getting Lyme disease is higher:
- for people who spend time in woodland or moorland areas
- from March to October because more people take part in outdoor activities
It’s thought only a small proportion of ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Being bitten doesn’t mean you’ll definitely be infected. However, it’s important to be aware of the risk and speak to a GP if you start to feel unwell.
Which Ticks Carry Lyme Disease
There are hundreds of different kinds of ticks throughout the world. The Ixodes tick, commonly called a black-legged tick, are ticks that carry Lyme disease. In the eastern and mid-western U.S, the primary species is Ixodes scapularis and the related western U.S. version is the Ixodes pacificus .
These ticks that carry Lyme disease can also carry bacterial co-infections, such as Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. While Lyme disease is the most common infection from a tick, co-infections can complicate ones Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment. Learn more about ticks and the other diseases they can cause in the U.S.
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What Should You Do If You Find A Tick
Don’t touch the tick with your bare hand.
Use a pair of tweezers to remove the tick. Grab the tick firmly by its mouth or head as close to your skin as possible.
Pull up slowly and steadily without twisting until it lets go. Don’t squeeze the tick, and don’t use petroleum jelly, solvents, knives, or a lit match to kill the tick.
Save the tick. Place it in a plastic container or bag so it can be tested for disease, if needed.
Wash the bite area well with soap and water and put an antiseptic lotion or cream on the site.
Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
A circular or oval shape rash around a tick bite can be an early symptom of Lyme disease in some people.
The rash can appear up to 3 months after being bitten by an infected tick, but usually appears within 1 to 4 weeks. It can last for several weeks.
The rash can have a darker or lighter area in the centre and might gradually spread. It’s not usually hot or itchy.
The rash may be flat, or slightly raised, and look pink, red, or purple when it appears on white skin. It can be harder to see the rash on brown and black skin and it may look like a bruise.
Some people also get flu-like symptoms a few days or weeks after they were bitten by an infected tick, such as:
- a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- tiredness and loss of energy
Some people with Lyme disease develop more severe symptoms months or years later.
This is more likely if treatment is delayed.
These more severe symptoms may include:
- pain and swelling in joints
- nerve problems such as pain or numbness
- trouble with memory or concentration
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The Wellness Way Can Help
The body was designed to heal. Its just a matter of removing the barriers to healing including infections. Fortunately, the earth is full of anti-infectious herbs that can help fight unwanted parasites and allow the body to heal itself. Seeing a Wellness Way practitioner and doing the appropriate testing and protocols will go a long way in helping the body get back to a balanced immune response, healing, and repair. If youre concerned about the potential of Chronic Lyme, make an appointment with your local Wellness Way Clinic and start your journey back to health!
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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Brown Dog Ticks And Pet Diseases
This type of dog tick is found nearly everywhere in the United States. It likes dogs of every variety but rarely bites people. Adult brown dog ticks are about the size and color of the deer tick. The bites of brown dog ticks can be extremely dangerous to your pet: They can cause diseases like canine ehrlichiosis and bartonellosis , and babesiosis . Symptoms of a tick-borne disease in your dog may include fever, depression, weight loss, and lameness, according to the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. Talk to your vet about the warning signs of tick-borne infections.
Brown dog ticks can live in your house and in your dogs kennel. If your dog has been outside in a kennel or the backyard, check often and thoroughly for ticks. Brown dog ticks hide, so make sure to look under rugs, behind draperies, under radiators, and in cracks if you think you have an infestation. The best way to get rid of them is to hire an exterminator. Remove them in the same way you would from a person: Use fine-tipped tweezers and grab the tick as close to its mouth as you can. Be sure to dispose of the tick, and wash the bite and your hands well.
How Can I Prevent Lyme Disease
While walking in green spaces, consider wearing clothing that covers your skin to make it more difficult for ticks to access a suitable place to bite.
Use insect repellent such as DEET and consider wearing light coloured clothing so that you can easily spot ticks and brush them off.
After spending time outside, check yourself, your clothing, your pets and others for ticks. Remove any attached tick as soon as you find it using a tick-removal tool or fine-tipped tweezers.
More information can be found on the NHS website.
The idea of being bitten by a tick can be daunting. It is important to know that with the right precautions and by being tick aware you can help to protect yourself and your family from tick bites.
Remember that advice and treatment is readily available through the NHS. So, if you think you have been bitten by a tick and have symptoms, contact your GP and accept the treatment that is offered to you.
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Lyme Disease In New York State
The New York State Department of Health and local health departments continue to investigate the spread of Lyme disease throughout New York State. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bite of an infected deer tick. Untreated, the disease can cause a number of health problems. Patients treated with antibiotics in the early stage of the infection usually recover rapidly and completely. Since Lyme disease first became reportable in 1986, over 98,500 cases have been confirmed in New York State.
What Should People Do If They Have Been Bitten By A Tick
Carefully remove the tick with a set of tweezers and consider mailing it to TickReport to test for possible pathogens, Dapsis says.
People who have been bitten should consult their physician, who is likely to give them a prescription for prophylactic doxycycline to prevent Lyme disease, Lewis says.
Those diagnosed with the disease typically are given a 10- to 21-day course of antibiotics.
Lyme disease that isnt treatedor isnt treated successfullycould end up causing cardiac, neurological and joint problems, Lewis says.
Approximately 10% of people who got Lyme disease will end up having some sort of chronic Lyme condition, and this includes people who have been treated with antibiotics in a timely manner, he says.
Symptoms of chronic Lyme, which some people are calling long Lyme, are the same as long COVID.
Fatigue. Muscle pain. Anxiety. Depression. Brain fog. Sleep disorders, Lewis says. Its most likely derived from similar damage, probably, to the immune system. Thats the educated guess at the moment.
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How To Avoid Tick Bites
The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid being bitten by a tick in the first place.
If youre going for a hike, spending time in a field, or walking through areas of tall grass, underbrush, or woods, its important to wear long pants and long sleeves that cover as much of your skin as possible. Tucking your pants into your socks or boots is also a good idea, as is wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
In addition to wearing the right clothes, considering using bug repellent. Make sure that the repellent you choose is specifically labeled for repelling ticks, as some insect repellents are ineffective when it comes to keeping ticks away.
Prevalence Of Lyme Disease In The United States
Lyme disease is the most frequently reported vector-borne illness in the United States. Although very prevalent in the northeasten and upper Midwestern states and to a lesser extent in the Pacific coastal states, the disease rarely occurs in other parts of the country unless a person who gets Lyme disease visited a disease prevelent area.
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Is There A Time Of The Year When Lyme Disease Is Most Likely
Lyme is most common during late spring and summer when the nymphal ticks are more predominant, these ticks are so tiny that they are easier to miss than the adult-sized ticks . Adult ticks can still transmit Lyme disease but they are easier to spot so they are usually noticed and removed more quickly. It is adult ticks that are responsible for the occurrence of Lyme disease during the fall and early winter.
Headaches Brain Fog Pain
For years, Reid experienced headaches, brain fog, pain and generally felt unwell.
I just knew that I was really sick, and I didnt know why, she explained. I was shuffled around to different departments and about a dozen different doctors, and I felt my symptoms were completely ignored.
Reid is an equestrian and enjoyed riding her horse on trails. As her symptoms worsened, she stopped competing and even eventually needed to stop working.
If I do a little bit today Im going to end up basically being on the couch all day tomorrow, she said. Not just because of physical pain. Yet, no one could explain her persistent ailments.
Headaches were the biggest . That was really what landed me at the doctors office and in the hospital, she said. I was experiencing a lot of brain fog and depression, unexplained allergies, pain and other puzzling symptoms and extreme fatigue.
Doctors never considered Lyme disease.
The biggest problem we see is that doctors dont believe theres Lyme disease in California or they think its so rare theyll never see a patient with it, despite the fact that its been here for decades, Wendy Adams, research grant director at Bay Area Lyme Foundation, told TODAY. Theres probably thousands of cases of Lyme disease each year in California, and so they will see Lyme disease cases. They just dont know theyve seen the disease.
Adams said its common that California residents receive a later diagnosis.
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What Ticks Carry Lyme Disease
- Black-legged ticks, also called deer ticks or Ixodes scapularis are the ticks primarily responsible for infecting humans with the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease.1
- There are several other types of ticks such as the American dog tick , the Lone Star tick, and others that dont cause Lyme Disease but can can transmit harmful bacteria which can lead to other types of infections
- Most cases of Lyme disease occur in the upper midwest and the northeastern portion of the U.S. but cases are rising everywhere.2
- Lyme disease is often caused by tiny tick nymphs that often go undetected and remain attached long enough to transmit the Lyme disease bacteria.3
- The transfer of bacteria from ticks to humans, is what causes Lyme disease
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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Lyme Disease Tick Infection Maps
These maps show the percentage of adult and nymph collected during 20172020 that were infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of . The ticks were collected in the field by the Indiana State Department of Health and tested at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . This map will be updated as ISDH continues to conduct surveillance for B. burgdorferi in ticks.
Counties colored darker blue had higher percentages of infected ticks, while counties colored lighter blue had lower percentages of infected ticks. Counties colored white had ticks collected, but none were positive. Counties colored light grey had sampling conducted, but no Ixodes scapularis ticks were found. Counties colored dark grey did not have sampling conducted during 20172020.
Each county is labeled with the number of ticks that were tested. The reported percentages from counties with small numbers of ticks tested should be interpreted with caution. For example, a county with only one tick tested would be colored darker blue if that tick were positive for B. burgdorferi, but this is not enough data to draw conclusions about the entire county.
For interactive versions of these maps, .
For maps and statistics describing human cases of Lyme disease in Indiana, .