Lyme disease is a vector borne disease that is caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. People who have been bitten by an infected blacklegged tick may become infected. Therefore, as we begin spring activities that take place outdoors, it is important to know more about protecting yourself from getting bit by an infected tick.
How to Protect Yourself from Tick Bites
Blacklegged ticks live in or near wooded areas. To avoid contact, do not walk through wooded or grasses areas, stay on the center of a trail.
Use a tick repellent that contains DEET on the skin or clothing or permethrin on clothing and gear. These products protect up to several hours, but read the product instruction. While applying repellent to the skin, be careful to avoid hands, eyes, and mouth.
Check for Ticks Daily
After being outdoors, conduct a body check for blacklegged ticks. Ticks can be found on the entire body, but are more likely to be found;
- Under the arms
- In and around the ears
- Inside the belly button
- Back of the knees
- On the head and in the body hair
- Around the waist.
Also, be sure to check your clothing for ticks that may have been carried in on. To be on the safe side, place your clothing in a dryer set on high heat should effectively kill any ticks that may be hiding.
Any ticks that are found should be removed by using a pair of tweezers or a tick removal kit.
Signs and Symptoms of a Tick Bite
If you have been bitten by a black legged tick, a bull’s eye rash may appear or flu like symptoms may occur within 3- 30 days of being bitten. If these symptoms occur see your healthcare provider.
Protecting your Pets
Pets get ticks the same way humans do, therefore speak to the veterinarian about tick repellent medicine or tick collars to protect your pet from getting bit and from bringing the ticks into your home.
Create a Tick-Safe Zone in your Yard
There are ways to keep you, your family and pets safe from ticks; keep play and patio areas away from shrubs, bushes and other grassy areas. Also, by placing wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas keeps ticks away. There are also chemicals that can be applied around your home to reduce the population of ticks and discourage deer from coming into the yard since they are a main food source for adult ticks.
- Wednesday, 30 May 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Webster Board of Health