Summer is here. While we begin to enjoy the beauty of spring, we need to protect ourselves from Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread by black legged ticks. In this article from The Center for Disease Control it shows in 2009 there were almost 30,000 confirmed cases in the United States.
Here are some helpful tips to safeguard you this spring –
- Use a repellent with Deet
- Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in moist and humid environments, particularly in wooded or grassy areas.
- Modify your landscaping to create “Tick-Safe Zones.” Keep patios, play ground areas away from shrubs, bushes and other vegetation.
- Use a chemical treatment. There are many safe chemical agents available or if you feel more comfortable, call a professional.
- Prevent family pets from bringing ticks inside. There are many tick medicine and collars available. Work closely with your veterinarian to choose the right one for your pet.
- Be sure to check for ticks after you have been outside. Ticks can hide under arms, around the ears, inside belly button, back of knees, in and around all head and body hair, and around the knees. Check clothing and pets as well.
What should you do if you are bitten by a tick?
Remove the tick using fine tipped tweezers as soon as you realize you have been bitten. If you are unable to remove the entire tick, it’s very important that you schedule an appointment with your doctor. If left untreated, Lyme disease may often lead to a stage of Lyme that is disabling and difficult to treat. In rare instances it can be fatal. If a tick is attached to your skin for less than 24 hours, your chances of developing Lyme disease is minimal. To be safe, watch for signs or symptoms of Lyme disease by following these tips as provided by The Center for Disease Control.
- Red expanding rash
- Muscle and joint aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
If you experience any of the above symptoms please contact your doctor immediately. Dr. Jennifer Ackerman, Dr. Michael Ackerman and Dr. Robert Lin of Dominion Internal Medicine are expert internist’s who will collect your medical history and perform a physical exam to determine if you are infected with this often hard to detect disease. For more information or to schedule an appointment please contact our specialists @ 540.347.5408. Now accepting CareFirst.
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