Protect yourself and those you love from Ticks and Lyme disease.
- Wear light-colored long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Check for ticks often while outdoors and brush off any before they attach.
- Perform a full body check multiple times during the day, as well as at the end of the day, to ensure that no ticks are attached.
- When hiking, stick to the center of trails as opposed to walking on the edges.
- Consider using repellents with DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or lemon eucalyptus oil and follow instructions.
- Consider treating clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin or buy permethrin-treated products.
- Put clothes in a hot dryer for 10-15 minutes after coming indoors.
- Showering after being outdoors may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check.
- Check your loved ones and pets for ticks after being outdoors.
Improper removal of ticks greatly increases the risk of acquiring tick-borne infections. Squeezing the tick or putting substances on the tick to try to make it “back out” may aggravate it enough that it injects into you whatever disease organisms are inside it.
- Do not burn or use any substance on tick.
- Do not grasp, squeeze, or twist body of tick.
- Grasp tick close to the skin with tweezers.
- Pull tick straight out.
- Use antiseptic on skin.
- Disinfect tweezers.
- Wash hands thoroughly.
- Always see a physician for possible diagnosis, testing, and treatment.
- If desired, save tick for testing, preferably alive, in a zippered plastic bag or a closed container with a moist cotton ball.
- Disinfect the removal tool and site of tick attachment.
Source: Lyme Disease Association
Photo Credit: 40440498 © Christian Delbert | Dreamstime.com
Contact Your Health Care Provider
It is critical that you contact your health care provider immediately. Save your tick in a secure container and bring it to your health care provider who can determine the species of tick to initiate specific treatment and testing.
Not every tick attachment results in illness and not every tick has disease-causing organisms. If disease-causing organisms are present, it takes time for them to be transmitted to the host.
“Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne disease in the United States. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include headache, fever, fatigue and erythema migraines, a characteristic bull’s eye skin rash. If left untreated, the disease can progress, affecting the nervous system, heart and joints.
Early detection of the disease is important, as patients in the early stages of the infection usually recover rapidly and completely with treatment. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), studies have shown that most patients can be cured with a few weeks of antibiotics taken by mouth. Intravenous treatment with antibiotics may be necessary for more advanced patients with neurological or cardiac forms of Lyme.
Patients diagnosed with later stages of disease may have persistent or recurrent symptoms. Known as post treatment Lyme disease, patients experience fatigue, persistent pain, impaired cognitive function, or unexplained numbness after treatment. Studies have shown that prolonged courses of antibiotics are not helpful among individuals with these symptoms and can cause serious complications.2”
“Tick bites can transmit diseases in addition to Lyme disease. The black-legged tick can carry pathogens that cause anaplasmosis and babesiosis, the second and third most common tick-borne diseases impacting over 1,000 New Yorkers annually combined. Other less-common tick-borne diseases that can be acquired in New York State include ehrlichiosis which is transmitted by the Lone Star tick and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever which is transmitted by the American dog tick. Powassan encephalitis, a tick-borne viral illness that can cause encephalitis or meningitis, is reported each year in NYS as well, although case numbers are very low (generally 1-5 cases per year).
Recently, the Asian longhorned tick was identified in New York State for the first time, being found in several locations in New York City, Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley. While this tick has transmitted disease to humans in other parts of the world, more research is needed to determine whether this can occur in the United States. The Department has tested more than 2,000 of these ticks and has not found any disease-causing agents. Regardless, New Yorkers should continue to take measures to protect themselves, their children and their pets against all ticks and tick-borne diseases that are present in New York State.”
Source: NYS Health Press Release