Where you live, vacation, work, and play outdoors can affect your chances of getting Lyme disease. In the United States, deer ticks are most prevalent in the Northeast and Midwest regions, which have heavily wooded areas and long grass where deer ticks thrive. Children who spend a lot of time outdoors in these regions, and adults who work outdoors are at increased risk.
Here are several measures you can take to prevent Lyme disease:
- If you do go in wooded or grassy areas, cover your body. Wear shoes, long pants tucked into your socks, a long-sleeved shirt, a hat, and gloves. Wear light-colored clothing so you can easily see ticks on your clothing. Stay on trails. Don’t walk through low bushes and long grass.
- Keep your dog on a leash. Don’t let your pets go into tall weeds and grasses.
- Apply insect repellent with a 20 percent or higher concentration of DEET to your skin. Parents should apply repellant to their children. Avoid applying to children’s hands, eyes, and mouth. Do not use DEET on infants younger than 2 months old. Do not use DEET in concentrations greater than 30%. DEET is safe for children in concentrations up to 30%.
- Read and follow directions on chemical repellents since they can be toxic. Products containing permethrin should be applied to clothing. Pretreated clothing is also available.
- If you have a yard, clear away brush and leaves where ticks live. Woodpiles should be kept in areas that are sunny.
- Regularly inspect yourself, your children, and your pets for ticks.After being in wooded or grassy areas, be especially careful to search for ticks. Deer ticks are often no bigger than the head of a pin. Ticks can attach to any part of the human body, but are often found in hard-to-see areas such as the groin, armpits, and scalp.
- Shower when you come inside. Ticks often remain on your skin for hours before attaching themselves. Showering and using a washcloth might remove unattached ticks.
- Know that you can get Lyme disease more than once.
- If you find a tick attached to your skin, remove the tick promptly with a tweezers. Gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth. Don’t squeeze or crush the tick. Pull carefully and steadily. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
- Once you’ve removed the entire tick, dispose of it by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.
- According to the Mayo Clinic, bacteria from a tick bite can enter your bloodstream if the tick stays attached to your skin for 36 to 48 hours or longer. If you remove a tick within two days, your risk of acquiring Lyme disease is low.
- If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor. Tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick.
13. The CDC recommends avoiding folklore remedies, such as “painting” the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Remove the tick as quickly as possible. DO NOT WAIT FOR IT TO DETACH.
- Posted by admin
- On February 6, 2017