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Lyme Disease Prevention and Treatment

Updated: May 31, 2020

Living in Connecticut we are the nation’s epicenter for Lyme Disease. First diagnosed in 1975 in Old Lyme, Connecticut, this disease is caused by bacteria passed along to humans from the bite of a black-legged tick.

Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and a “bull’s-eye” like rash where the bite occurred. The rash is the easiest way to identify Lyme disease. 8 out of 10 people will get a rash and it can last days to weeks after a tick bite. Left untreated Lyme Disease can also affect the heart or nervous system.

Ticks like moist and shady wooded areas with high grass. When in areas similar to this, consider wearing long sleeves and/or pants tucked into socks or boots. Also, lighter shaded clothing will help spotting ticks. Apply insect repellent that contains DEET or picardin to clothing and exposed skin.

Once indoors, take a shower and place clothes in a hot dryer for one hour to kill any ticks you may have picked up.

Lyme Disease isn’t likely to develop if a tick is removed within 24 hours after it attaches.

If you find a tick attached to the skin, remove with fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick firmly and as close to the skin as you can and pull slowly WITHOUT twisting. Clean the area with antiseptic.

Lyme Disease treatment consists of oral antibiotics from anywhere to 10-21 days. For more serious cases, IV antibiotics may be required for up to a month.

Always contact your healthcare provider if you think a tick has been attached to your skin and if you have a rash or flu-like symptom.

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