MAY IS LYME DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH
Lyme Disease Awareness:
1) You are more then 10 x likely to get Lyme Disease then West Nile Virus. Ticks are everywhere (they are found on every continent except Antarctica, and are active year round) and you can be bitten in your own yard. New York State has one of the highest number of reported Lyme cases.
2) Lyme Disease has Surpassed AIDS as the #1 Infectious Disease in the United States.
3) Testing for Lyme Disease is UNRELIABLE. To be tested correctly you must have your blood tested through a tick borne specialty lab.
4) Lyme Disease is passed by Ticks, but it’s possible all biting-blood sucking insects can be carriers.
5) The average primary MD knows NOTHING about Lyme Disease even though they believe they do. Only Lyme Literate MD’s treat Lyme Disease effectively. Contact the Lyme Disease Association for more information on doctor referrals.
6) Lyme Disease, if not caught right after the bite can become chronic with multiple systemic (body-wide) symptoms that are extremely hard to treat and the patients only hope is long term antibiotics, sometimes for YEARS and then hope for remission.
7) You may already know someone with Lyme Disease & they likely don’t know it. It is the Great Imitator because it mimics other conditions. If you know someone with pain, back problems, knee problems, Fibromyalgia, anxiety, migraines, etc.. it’s possible you know someone with Lyme. There are many symptoms of Lyme Disease.
9) Lyme Disease enters the central nervous system almost immediately and even if “Cured” you can relapse many years later.
10) The symptoms of Lyme Disease are so devastating it can be completely disabling with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, MS, Migraines and Insomnia and may be the cause of these symptoms.
11) Lyme Disease may be responsible for all psychiatric illness and the #1 cause of Lyme Disease death is suicide.
To help keep ticks away you should use insect repellant that contains at least 20-30% DEET, you can also wear clothing that has been treated with permethrin. Wearing light colored, long sleeves, long pants and tucking pant legs into socks seems to be the best way to avoid ticks attaching to skin. When DEET- based repellants are applied in combination with permethrin treated clothing protection against bites of nearly 100% can be achieved. Try to walk in the center of paths and stay out of tall weeds, bushes, and leaf litter. If you do enter places where ticks live you should shower after you come inside (preferably within 2 hours) and then check for ticks (remember ticks are good hiders so look under arm pits, in/around ears, in belly button, behind knees, in hair and groin area). Ticks can catch a ride on clothing, gear, or pets and then infect a person later. So make sure you check them as well and then put clothing in the dryer on high heat for 60 minutes to kill any remaining ticks. It is possible to get Lyme disease again if you are bitten by another infected tick.
Also you should make your own backyard less attractive to ticks by doing simple landscaping techniques. Clear tall grass and brush from around the home and edges of property, mow the lawn, keep leaves raked, stack wood neatly and in a dry place (to help keep rodents away that ticks might feed on), and quickly remove any old furniture, mattresses, or trash from yard that might give ticks a place to hide. Ticks also like WET weather, if it’s raining ticks may be even more active.
The most common Lyme disease tick is the Deer Tick. Ticks prefer to live in wooded areas, low growing grassland, seashores & yards. They wait for an animal or person to walk by and then grab onto them, then they find a good place to attach themselves. They might hide in your hair or behind a knee; they could even be in your underwear. Depending on the location anywhere from 1% to 90% of the ticks can be infected with Lyme. Once attached the tick then bites & starts drinking blood. The nymph stage of the lifecycle is the most common for the transmission of the disease, it’s very hard to see or feel unless in the most obvious of locations on the body, they also numb the skin around the bite so as not to be detected. A tick can stay attached for a few days, when it is full it will let go & fall off. Ticks are actually related to spiders. They have 8 legs, but they do not spin webs & they do not eat insects. All ticks are small but Deer ticks are Very small. They are so tiny it’s easy to mistake them for freckles or dirt. Sometimes they’re hard to see at all.
Deer ticks have a 2 year life cycle, which means it takes 2 years for one to go from egg to adult, therefore, deer ticks can be found all year long including wintertime. If you do find a tick on you there is no need to panic, but it should be removed quickly. If a tick is not removed properly you may force the infection into your skin. In most cases the tick will be attached for 24 – 36 hours before the transmission of Lyme disease to occur. You should use narrow tweezers to grab the tick at the surface of the skin & pull the tick straight up & out. Do not twist or jerk the tick, this might cause the mouth parts to break off and stay in the skin, if that happens you can use the tweezers to remove the mouthparts. Do Not put hot matches, nail polish, or petroleum jelly on the tick to try and make it pull away from your skin, your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible not wait for it to detach on it’s own. After it’s removed you should wash the bite with soap & water, disinfectant, rubbing alcohol, or iodine scrub. If you can remove the tick quickly (within 24 Hours) you can greatly reduce your chances of getting Lyme disease.
If a Tick bites you & soon after (within 30 days) you get a fever, headache, skin rash, chills, start to feel really, really tired, have joint or muscle pain, any facial paralysis, or swollen lymph nodes, you should go to see your doctor. Be sure to tell your Doctor about the tick bite, when it occurred & where you most likely came into contact with the tick. Some people get a small bump or redness at the tick bite site that looks like a mosquito bite that will usually go away in 1-2 days; this does not mean you have Lyme disease. Children sometimes experience joint pain as their 1st symptom & possibly their only symptom of Lyme disease. Untreated Lyme disease can be dangerous, it can cause you to have brain, nerve, joint, spinal cord, & heart problems; with early treatment these complications may be prevented.
Thank you in advance for your patience during this upcoming season.
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