Lyme disease, what is it?
Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to people and animals by the bite of an infected tick, much like the one pictured above. The ticks become infected by feeding on small rodents such as mice. There are cases of Lyme's disease reported in Michigan each year, including within our three counties.
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease infection?
Early symptoms which may occur between 3-30 days include tiredness, fever, headache, stiff neck, muscle ache, and joint pain. Additionally, about 70-80% of patients will have a red, slowly expanding bull-eye rash at the point of puncture. Left untreated, patients may develop arthritis, facial palsy, motor and sensory nerve inflammation, and encephalitis (swelling of the brain).
Can it be transmitted from person to person?
No. Lyme bacteria are not transmitted from person to person contact.
How long after I have been bitten will I know I have a problem?
For the red bulls-eye rash, usually 7 to 14 days.
Do people die from Lyme disease?
No. Lyme disease is rarely, if ever, fatal. Treatment with antibiotics is important and can help prevent late Lyme disease. Consult your Primary Care Provider.
How can I remove a tick?
Ticks can be removed with fine point tweezers by pulling up with steady, even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite with running alcohol or soap and water.
Is the disease seasonal or can I get it year round?
Seasonal. The disease is most common when ticks become active in the environment, generally speaking, once temperatures are consistently above 40 degrees starting in Spring and continuing until the Fall frost.
How is Lyme disease treated?
Generally, experts agree that treatment with antibiotics is effective in the treatment of Lyme Disease.
Is there a vaccine against Lyme Disease?
No. There is no vaccine currently available.
No shot ! Then how do I protect myself?
Avoid overgrown areas of brush or grass, wear light colored clothing (to make it easier to find them), use insect repellent with DEET, and check yourself and your pets for ticks when returning indoors.