Lyme Disease Prevention
Follow the steps below to help reduce your chances of acquiring a tick-borne disease.
- Wear light-colored clothing ─ makes it easier to spot ticks.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. Keep pant bottoms tucked into socks or boots.
- Wear socks and enclosed shoes ─ not sandals.
- Remain on trails and avoid hiking through tall vegetation.
- Apply repellents containing 20% or more DEET – these can protect up to several hours.
- Other repellents found to be as effective as DEET include: repellents with picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or 2% soybean oil, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (Their length of effectiveness equals products containing 10% DEET.)
Note: Studies have found that ultrasonic devices which give off sound waves to repel insects are not as effective as tick repellents.
- Perform tick checks after you come in from outdoors. Check for ticks the following day, as well, since ticks will become engorged (larger from feeding) and may be easier to spot. Ticks prefer warm, moist areas where the skin is thin (behind the knees, groin, belly button, armpits, behind the ears, hairline).
- When checking small children for ticks, pay close attention to their scalp and neck region, since they’re lower to the ground.
- Shower after being outdoors to wash off loose ticks, but remember water will not rinse off or kill attached ticks.
- Protect your pets with tick repellents to reduce chances of ticks being brought indoors. Check outdoor pets for ticks. Merely rinsing off your dog or cat with water will not kill ticks.
Note: Deer ticks can be submerged in water for 2-3 days and remain alive. Check clothing carefully and place in hot dryer for 15 minutes before washing to effectively kill ticks.
- Keep yard clear of excessive vegetation and brush.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection typically transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. It is one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the country, and the steadily increasing number of cases has led many in the medical/scientific community and legislative arena to deem the disease a “public health crisis” and “epidemic”. learn more →
Lyme disease has been associated with numerous neurologic, rheumatologic and psychiatric manifestations. However, the full range of symptoms needed to recognize the disease may not be apparent to a physician during a routine examination. learn more →
Co-infections can be challenging to diagnose, as clinical features often overlap with many of the other tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease. However, the importance of identifying and treating polymicrobial infections is critical in getting a patient well. learn more →