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What You Need To Know About Lyme’s Disease

June 29, 2017
by Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

With the hot weather comes the risk of picking up ticks, whether on you, your children, or pets. The following article gives you an idea of where Lyme disease has mainly occurred and what you can do to minimize exposure:

Where you live in the U.S. has a significant impact on your risk of getting Lyme disease. Most cases occur in the Northeastern U.S. or the Midwest. In fact, in 22015, 95 percent of confirmed Lyme disease cased in the U. S. occurred in just 14 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

While all residents of North America need to be aware they could contract Lyme disease, residents of the above states need to take extra precautions because of increased risk.

Aside from where you live, there are lifestyle factors that increase your risk. Here are some other things that increase your risk:

Spending time in wooded or grassy areas during warm months

Having exposed skin especially outdoors

Having indoor/outdoor pets

Having a stone fence or bird feeder at home

Lyme disease is transmitted by tick bites. They are most active in warm weather. Peak activity occurs in June and July. They tend to be found in wooded or grassy areas.

Pets that spend part of their time outdoors and part of their time indoors can bring ticks into the house. This can put others in the household at increased risk of exposure.

Stone fences and bird feeders often attract mice. Mice typically have ticks. If these are near the house, it can bring mice and ticks into the house.

Children who play outdoors in warm months tend to be at greater risk than adults indulging in outdoor leisure activities because children play in grassy areas and climb trees. Adults with outdoor occupations are also at higher than normal risk.

Lyme disease is carried by the deer tick, which feeds on mice and other rodents when young. As adults, the deer tick feeds mostly on whitetail deer. When deer ticks bite a human, they can transmit Lyme.

For this reason, exposed skin increases the risk. Covering up with long sleeved shirts and long pants can help reduce the risk exposure. If you are walking though tall grass, make sure you are covered up. The itching it can cause may not just be due to allergies. It may be due to bug bites, including tick bites.

You should learn to properly remove ticks. Tick bite, dig in and stay there. It takes time for the bacteria to be transmitted. Removing them within 48 hours reduces the odds of successful transmission of Lyme.

I point this out to you because Lyme disease is in northwest Iowa. I personally know two people who have contracted the disease. It has taken well over a year to recover from the disease. Protection is key to preventing you or a loved one from contracting Lyme.

 
 
 

 

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