As we enjoy springtime, the thought of gardening and playing on sunny ball fields, and hiking through the woods sounds enticing. Yes, for most of us, it can't happen fast enough. However, we live in the Northeast where the deer population is prominent. With deer come deer ticks which carry a bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.
Lyme Disease starts as a rash at the sight of the tick bite and appears within a week to the month of the bite. Some infected people get a classic red rash, but many do not. Early symptoms include:
Muscle and Joint Pain
Swollen Lymph Nodes
Lyme Disease begins as a rash and progresses to affect the joints, the heart, and the central nervous system. Because symptoms of Lyme Disease can vary in intensity, many times the disease can progress unchecked. So prevention becomes most important.
Ways to prevent Lyme Disease include:
Being aware of and avoiding tick habitats such as tall grass, bushes, brush, and woods.
Wearing socks pulled over pant legs.
If you do go into such habitats, wear a long sleeved shirt and check yourself for ticks.
Throw worn clothing in dryer on high for at least 10 minutes.
Inspect your pets after being outdoors and use tick control pet products.
Use tick repellent on clothing.
This disease is a growing public health threat. Unfortunately, you can get tick bites from your pets in your own back yard - it doesn't have to be a classic habitat. By being alert of the early symptoms and being religious about prevention techniques, you can look forward to this spring and summer in good health.