What To Do If You Get Bit By A Dog – Do not panic if you are bitten by a tick. Here are 5 Tips to Minimize Lyme Disease: Injectable Precautions – Health News Scientist predicts a risky year for tick-borne Lyme disease in the Northeast, and it’s spreading. But don’t panic. We have suggestions.
The culprit: Lyme disease is caused by the bite of a black-legged tick. Stephen Reiss to hide caption
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This spring and summer could be a disaster for Lyme disease, at least in parts of the Northeast.
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“We expect 2017 to be a particularly risky year for Lyme,” says Rick Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York.
Ostfeld has been studying the debilitating tick-borne disease for more than 20 years and has developed an early warning system based on mice. For more information, check out the article on our sister blog, Goats and Soda.
It’s not entirely certain which parts of the Northeast will be hardest hit, but if recent history repeats itself, the risk will be high in New York state and Connecticut, he says, and possibly parts of the Mid-Atlantic region as well.
In other parts of New England and the upper Midwest, Lyme continues to spread, says epidemiologist Kirsten Kugeler of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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“Reported cases of Lyme have tripled in the last few decades,” he says. “And today we think the true burden of Lyme disease in the United States is about 300,000 cases each year.”
(Our global health team reports on the expected rise in Lyme disease as part of a series on future pandemics.)
Lyme disease, which causes flu-like symptoms and arthritis, is transmitted by black-legged ticks. They can be as small as a poppy seed. And they like to get into the nooks and crannies of the human body. “This is the scalp, behind the ears, in the armpits and in the groin area,” he says.
On the East Coast, most people catch Lyme around the house, Kugeler says, not just while hiking or camping. “People can put themselves at risk every day without knowing it.” Here are some tips for avoiding tick bites.)
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1. Don’t panic, says Dr. Brian Fallon, who leads Lyme and tick-borne disease research at Columbia University Medical Center.
2. Remove the tweezers. “Very carefully, use the tweezers to go under the tick’s head and simply pull out the tick’s mouth, which is embedded in the skin,” Fallon says.
“What you don’t want to do is compress the body of the tick,” he says. “This will cause the tick to regurgitate all of its stomach contents into the skin and make you more likely to get the infection that the tick was carrying.”
Also, don’t put Vaseline on it or smoke a cigarette or [a match],” Fallon says. Just use tweezers.”
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3. Check the Lyme chart. So you want to find out if you picked up a tick in an area where Lyme is a problem. The CDC tracks Lyme cases and has detailed county-level statistics on where doctors report cases.
The goal is to find out if Lyme is present in your community. If the answer is no, then you can relax. The chance that you have Lyme is very, very small.
If the answer is yes, then you want to see how intense the transmission is in your district. This information will be useful in n. 5.
4. Save that check mark. If there’s a chance you picked up a tick in an area where Lyme is common, Fallon says, you may want to restrain the critter so the lab can test it for Lyme.
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“Put the mint in the envelope,” he says. “The mint didn’t even have to be alive for the lab to see if it had Lyme.”
You can also take a picture of the tick and send it to the TickEncounter Resource Center. The scientists there will help you identify the tick and tell you the possibility that it has Lyme.
5. Monitor your health. So now comes the big decision: should you go to the doctor? This depends on two factors: your symptoms and your location.
Watch for any red rash, Fallon says. It must not be bull’s-eye or bull’s-eye.
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In fact, in 80 percent of cases, the Lyme rash does not have this form. It’s just red and
“If you develop a rash that spreads, fever, or flu-like symptoms, don’t wait. See a doctor,” Fallon says. The sooner you start taking antibiotics, the more likely you are to make a full recovery and not have persistent problems.
And while some symptoms persist even when people are treated, “The good news with Lyme is that most people who are treated early do very well,” he says.
If you don’t have symptoms, you don’t need to see a doctor, Fallon says. Not all black-legged ticks have Lyme disease. And after it starts biting you, it takes 24 to 36 hours for the pathogen to enter the bloodstream. So if the tick hasn’t been on your body for long, you’re probably fine.
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But if you live in an area with a high number of Lyme cases, you may want to see a doctor even if you don’t have symptoms, Fallon says, especially if you think the tick has been on your body for a while.
“The Infectious Diseases Society of America recommends a one-day prophylactic treatment with doxycycline,” Fallon says, “which is believed to protect against the disease to some extent.” How to avoid ticks and what to do if you get bitten: Twitches – Health News With more ticks carrying disease than ever, here’s what you need to know about which ticks to watch out for and what to do if you get bitten.
The black-legged or deer tick, which transmits Lyme disease, appears to be expanding its territory. Bill Davis / Newsday via Getty Images hide caption
Ticks aren’t known as beach lovers, so ecologist Dan Salkeld and a colleague were surprised to find 180 ticks on less than a mile of a coastal path near Muir Beach, California, one day in 2016.
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“Unlike most people, we were blown away by the sheer number of ticks! It was exciting in terms of sample size and data,” says Salkeld, whose results were published in June.
But it also makes you think. For years, people tracking black-legged ticks — the type that transmits Lyme disease — have found them in more remote territories, though still mostly in traditional forest habitats with tall grasses and leaves.
Now, “as the numbers increase, we’re seeing ticks in areas that we don’t think of as traditional habitat,” says Pritt.
This trend has continued, with ticks appearing in places previously thought to be safe from disease-carrying spiders, from those coastal beaches in California to manicured lawns in the Northeast. A large number of ticks could force them to spread into new habitats, Mayo Clinic parasitologist Bobbi Pritt theorizes.
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Many of them appear to be carriers of pathogens. Pritt’s lab tests tens of thousands of ticks; in the past three years, they have discovered that more and more ticks carry the bacteria that cause anaplasmosis, a disease that can cause headaches, fever and chills, and serious illness if treatment is delayed.
All this leads to multiple diseases: Tick-borne diseases are at an all-time high, with around 50,000 cases reported each year, and many more going unreported.
Minnesota Department of Health employees demonstrate a clever trick to deter the critters while in the field: wrap duct tape around socks and leggings to prevent ticks from crawling up. Sheila Eldred to hide caption
Minnesota Department of Health employees demonstrate a clever trick to deter the critters while in the field: wrap duct tape around socks and leggings to prevent ticks from crawling up.
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While Lyme disease is by far the most common, with nearly 35,000 cases in 2019, ticks also carry pathogens that can trigger an allergy to red meat or cause acute respiratory failure. In rare cases, tick-borne diseases are fatal. Anaplasmosis is the second largest tick-borne disease, with nearly 8,000 reported cases in 2019.
Here’s what you need to know about the types of ticks to watch out for, where and what to do if you get bitten.
The prevalence of ticks depends on a number of local factors that make radical generalizations difficult, says dr. George Dempsey of East Hampton Family Medicine and the Bay Area Foundation Lyme Disease Biobank. That is why he is skeptical when he hears forecasts for the coming seasons.
“Every year they say it’s going to be a great year, because of acorns or cold or warm winters…” he says, but all these factors vary from place to place.
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For example, the mild winter and hot, humid summer in the Midwest right now is causing ticks to come out earlier than usual. “This is the best time—the ticks are already in Minnesota,” says Elizabeth
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