Lyme disease is a serious and growing problem in the western United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of Lyme disease cases has more than doubled in the past 20 years, and it is now the most common tick-borne illness in the country. Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected black-legged tick, also known as a deer tick. Symptoms of Lyme disease can include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic bull’s-eye rash. If left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to serious health problems, including chronic joint pain, neurological problems, and even death.
Fortunately, Lyme disease is preventable. The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid contact with ticks, especially in areas where Lyme disease is common. When outdoors in wooded or brushy areas, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and use an insect repellent that contains 20-30% DEET. Ticks often hang out in tall grass and low-lying bushes, so stay on well-worn trails whenever possible. Regularly check your body for ticks, and remove them promptly if you find any. If you develop any symptoms of Lyme disease, see a healthcare provider immediately.
With Lyme disease on the rise, it’s more important than ever to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect yourself and your family. By following some simple precautions, you can greatly reduce your chances of getting Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is a serious tick-borne illness that can cause a wide range of symptoms, many of which are similar to other conditions. As a result, Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose. The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid contact with ticks, but if you live in or travel to an area where Lyme disease is common, there are a few other steps you can take to protect yourself.
Wearing long pants and long sleeves when spending time in wooded or brushy areas can help prevent ticks from getting on your skin. Applying a tick repellent to your clothes and skin can also be helpful. Checking your body for ticks after spending time outdoors is also important. If you find a tick on your body, remove it as soon as possible.
If you develop symptoms of Lyme disease, it’s important to see a doctor right away. Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics, but the sooner it’s diagnosed, the better. Lyme disease is a serious condition, but it can be effectively treated if it’s caught early.