Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease Update 2016

With warmer temperatures come ticks. Lyme disease (LD) continues to be the most common tick related illness in our region. The best treatment strategy for LD and other tick-borne illnesses is prevention.

LD is caused by the bite of the very tiny blacklegged tick (AKA, deer tick-see photo). Deer ticks are now common in New York. The number of annual cases of LD in Ontario County has increased with the number of ticks, but we still have fewer cases than other parts of the state and nation.

Not all deer ticks carry bacteria that cause LD. So finding a tick attached to your body does not necessarily mean you will get sick. The longer an infected tick remains attached to the body, the more likely it is to transmit LD; those attached for >36 hours are most likely to cause illness.
Symptoms
Symptoms usually begin about a week after exposure (range 3-30 days). They include:
  • Rash: about 70-80% of people get a distinctive bull's-eye rash. 20-30% do not get this rash.
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • If not treated promptly, other symptoms may develop.

Treatment

LD is treatable. Antibiotics are very effective. In a small percentage of people, symptoms may linger after treatment. This is unusual.

Don't

let ticks keep you and your family inside this spring and summer!

Do


  • Make checking for ticks routine after coming in from outdoors.
  • Wear light colored clothing (ticks will be easier to see!), tuck pants into shoes, and avoid brushy areas/tall grass when outdoors.
  • Use DEET per manufacturer's directions. DEET products can be used in low concentrations on children; don't allow them to apply it themselves.
  • Shower or bathe after spending time outdoors. This will remove both insect repellents and hard to see ticks. It also provides an opportunity to check your skin for attached ticks.
  • Consider using permethrin products on clothing and gear if you spend a lot of time hiking or camping. Always follow manufacturers' instructions.
  • Check your dogs frequently for ticks and talk to your vet about the best way to protect them because dogs get LD too.

For more information about LD and other illnesses spread by ticks, follow the links below:



Updated 5/9/16
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Arthritis in Knee Joint

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Bull's-eye Rash

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Bell's Palsy

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Satellite Rashes

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