Tags: ticks | check | lyme | prevention

How to Protect Against Ticks During Peak Lyme Season

sign on tree in woods about preventing tick bites/Lyme disease
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By    |   Thursday, 18 May 2023 09:59 AM EDT

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and a good time to learn how to protect yourself from ticks and the diseases they carry. A shocking major review found that over 14% of the world’s population has had Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that causes rash, and flu-like symptoms, including muscle and joint aches, headache, nausea, and vomiting. While the condition is rarely fatal, Lyme disease can cause long-term health issues such as irregular heartbeat, eye inflammation, hepatitis and severe fatigue, says the Mayo Clinic.

Over 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease are estimated to occur every year in the U.S. That makes Lyme disease the most frequent tick-borne infection in North America. The ticks that transmit the disease are deer ticks that are small and difficult to see, say the experts at Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center

One of the nation’s leading Lyme experts, Thomas Mather, of the University of Rhode Island’s Tick Encounter Resource Center, offers tips on tick-bite prevention, and strategies to prevent tick-borne disease.

“The most important thing to think about when you’re doing a tick check is that you need to check the lower extremities first and then move up,” he says. Here are critical places to check:

• Between the toes

• Behind knees

• In the groin area

• Around the waistline

• In the belly button

• Inside elbow joints and armpits

• Around the hairline

• On the scalp

Mather says it is also important to check where your clothing meets or binds closely to your skin. Ticks will crawl into those areas and won’t be able to go any further so they will bite there.

Next, check your pets. On dogs, the head region is the most important place to look for ticks. Make sure to check all places where the tick could get caught up in the fur or creases of the skin. Again, check between the toes and legs, in and around the ears and collar area, and at the base of the tail.

If you find a tick, Mather suggests doing the following:

• Remove the tick by using a fine-tipped, pointy tweezers getting as close to the skin as possible and pull the tick out.

• Place the tick in a Ziploc bag so that you can identify the insect and know what possible diseases it may be carrying.

• Take a photo of the top of the tick and send it to TickSpotters, where experts will identify it for you within 24 hours and let you know what kind of tick it is, how long it was attached, and what germ it may or may not have transmitted to you. Mather says that while tick testing can be a useful resource, it should not be used as a substitute for medical diagnosis of disease. For more information and strategies on tick prevention visit Equip-4-Ticks.

© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


Health-News
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and a good time to learn how to protect yourself from ticks and the diseases they carry. A shocking major review found that over 14% of the world's population has had Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that causes rash, and flu-like...
ticks, check, lyme, prevention
482
2023-59-18
Thursday, 18 May 2023 09:59 AM
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