Spring is here...that means more time spent walking and enjoying the woods.
Living in the mountains for the past few years, one special love was to take quiet time walking through the woods.
Time alone hiking or walking the trails, lets you experience a calm, a sense of wonder and rejuvenation.
But along with all the beauty of nature, comes a threat.
Ticks live in the cool, moist areas forests and landscapes where the grass pushes closely near bushy grasses, shrubs and trees. Just about anyone can come into tick territory and birds can carry the nasty infected ticks into the heart of even the city. T
Lyme disease is a multi-system inflammatory disease caused by the bite of a tick infected with one of several closely related species of Borrelia bacteria. And gardeners, because of the large amounts of time we spend outdoors, rank among those most likely to contract it.
This disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans.
If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks. Laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.
Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitat.
The tiny insects are about the size of a poppy seed, and mature ones may be the size of a sesame seed. So they are small enough for you to overlook. Daily you should check the neck, armpits, belly area, hairline and groin region.
How to Avoid a Tick Bite
You can use an repellent containing DEET, showering and checking your body when you return indoors and place clothes in washer then dryer.
How to do a Tick Check
I suggest you begin your body check from the feet up, since ticks tend to be at ground level.
How to remove a tick:
Helpful HintAvoid folklore remedies such as "painting" the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible–do not wait for it to detach.
See you doctor...
If you believe you have been bitten by a tick, see your doctor.
Testing can be done for Lyme disease.
It is not uncommon for patients treated for Lyme disease with a recommended 2 to 4 week course of antibiotics to have lingering symptoms of fatigue, pain, or joint and muscle aches at the time they finish treatment. In a small percentage of cases, these symptoms can last for more than 6 months. Although sometimes called “chronic Lyme disease,” this condition is properly known as “Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome” (PTLDS).
Enjoy the outdoors...but be on your guard for ticks.
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