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Lyme Disease Prevention and Treatment

Lyme Disease Prevention and Treatment


What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is an infection caused by a bacteria carried by some ticks. It can occur after a black-legged or deer tick bite. Lyme disease
cannot be transferred from one person to another.

Where do ticks live?

Ticks like wooded, brushy, overgrown grassy areas that are moist and shady and have lots of leaf litter and low-lying vegetation.

Where and when do most cases of Lyme disease occur?

In the United States, Lyme disease occurs most commonly in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and upper north-central regions and in several northwestern California counties. In fact, the vast majority of all Lyme disease cases reported in the United States in recent years were from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine,Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Although uncommon, Lyme disease can occur in Canada, especially in the areas of Ontario and British Columbia. Sporadic cases have been reported in other provinces as well. Lyme disease occurs most often during the late spring and summer months, particularly in May, June, July, and August.

What signs and symptoms occur with Lyme disease?

The hallmark sign of Lyme disease that occurs in 80% of all patients is a slow spreading “bull’s-eye” rash. This red rash typically occurs
days to weeks after a tick bite. Other symptoms you may experience include tiredness, fever, headache, stiffness, muscle aches, and joint pain.
Weeks to months after exposure, patients who do not receive treatment may develop arthritislike symptoms, particularly in large joints like
the knee. Other problems involving the heart or nervous system can also occur.

Can Lyme disease be prevented?

The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid a tick bite. If you must be in an area where contact with ticks is likely, wear a longsleeved
shirt tucked into long pants that are tucked into socks or boots. This helps prevent ticks from reaching the skin. Also, wear lightcolored
clothing so ticks can be easily spotted.

An insect repellent that contains DEET (n,ndiethyl-m toluamide) should be applied to clothing and exposed skin. Permethrin, an
insecticide that kills ticks on contact, can also be applied to clothing. Finally, do daily skin checks for ticks. Most people who remove a
tick within 24 to 36 hours of attachment will not develop Lyme disease.


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Information for Patients
Prepared for the subscribers of
Pharmacist’s Letter / Prescriber’s Letter to give to their patients.
Copyright © 2007 by Therapeutic Research Center
www.pharmacistsletter.com ~ www.prescribersletter.com

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