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You've heard of Lyme disease and you may know it's transmitted by a tick bite. But you many not know much beyond that. If so, this is a good refresher since summer is here and you may be headed outdoors.

That's right. Plus, ticks are such nasty looking critters; the last thing I'd want is to find one attached to me. If you haven't seen one up close just check out our website.

They look like something out of the movie - "Alien". They attach by piercing the skin and embedding themselves to feed. You need tweezers to remove them and doing so within 24 hours is key to preventing Lyme disease.

If you don't, within a week after infection symptoms could appear but they vary making it hard to diagnose. In the classical presentation, you can have fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, plus a rash that resembles a bulls-eye. The problem is some people have no early symptoms.

After days or weeks, the infection can spread throughout the body with pain seemingly moving from joint to joint. It gets even more serious when you have inflammation of the heart and nerves and some even suffer mental changes.

Luckily you can treat this bacterial disease with antibiotics. What's little known is that there was a safe and effective vaccine but it was withdrawn by the manufacturer in 2002 because of slow sales.

Ticks spread lyme disease by feeding on an infected animal and then biting humans and other animals. But you can do a lot to avoid this by removing woodpiles and leaf debris around your house; clearing thick brush and trees that attract deer and rodents; wearing long sleeves and pants; and using insect repellants containing DEET if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors.

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For more information…

Learn about Lyme Disease
A comprehensive site posted by the CDC covering many aspects of Lyme Disease including transmission, symptoms, diagnosis and other resources. Other links are also provided.
For more information…

Lyme Disease —
United States, 2003-2005

This site provide incidence statistics regarding Lyme Disease in the United States. Statistics show the distribution of Lyme disease by state, age and gender.
For more information…

Tick Management Handbook
This is an extensive resource that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about ticks and tick borne disease. This includes sections on personal protection, chemical and biological control of ticks.
For more information…

 
 

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