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Tick Talk: Lyme Disease Resource

Summertime is all about being outdoors, the warm days, the extra hours of sunlight and the lush greenery make this a great time of year to be in nature. With an increase in time spent outdoor, exposure to ticks becomes more common. Don’t let a tick make you sick. Read the information below to get important facts about Lyme Disease.

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme Disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks.

What of the symptoms of Lyme Disease?

  • fever
  • rash
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • muscle and joint aches 

How does Lyme Disease spread?

Lyme disease is spread through the bite of infected ticks.  Typically, ticks need to be attached for 36 to 48 hours before they can transmit the Lyme disease bacteria.

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.

Where is Lyme Disease found?

The risk of exposure to ticks is greatest in the woods and in the edge area between lawns and woods; however, ticks can also be carried by animals onto lawns and gardens and into houses by pets.

In the United States, most infections occur in the following areas:

•  Northeast, from Virginia to Maine

•  North-central states, mostly in Wisconsin and Minnesota

•  West Coast, particularly northern California

What can you do to protect yourself?

• Know where to expect ticks outdoors

• Use insect repellent

•  Check your clothes

•  Bath or shower soon after being outdoors

•  Check your body for ticks especially:

    o Under the arms

    o In and around the ears

    o  Inside belly button

    o  Back of the knees

    o  In and around the hair

    o  Between the legs

    o  Around the waist

How is Lyme Disease diagnosed?

• Signs and symptoms of the illness

• A history of possible exposure to infected blacklegged ticks

• Laboratory blood tests

What is the treatment for Lyme Disease?

Antibiotics are commonly used to treat Lyme disease.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Mayo Clinic