Spring is such a great time of year! We enjoy the flowers and the warm weather, yet we are urged to be extra cautious of ticks. The town I live in was nicknamed “Tick Township!”
Tickborne diseases are on the rise and prevention should be on everyone’s mind, particularly during the spring, summer, and early fall when ticks are most active. From May through July, people will get more tick bites and tickborne diseases than any other time of year in the United States.
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks. They can also carry other infections such including Bartonella, Mycoplasma, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Babesia and West Nile Virus.
Typical symptoms of Lyme include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. Rashes may occur in patients that are not the characteristic bullseye rash and might resemble a stretch mark or be a non- descript looking red earlobe or slap face or slap back appearance
If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, the nervous system and the Gastrointestinal tract. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks.
Laboratory testing is helpful but are not a requirement to making a diagnosis. Early diagnosis of Lyme can be treated with a few weeks of antibiotics. Steps to prevent Lyme include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitats. Wear clothes that cover your body including white colors so you might see the pin point size of the tic and to do tick checks daily.
A holistic way to prevent Lyme disease: crush garlic and basil and apply to the skin if you do not want to use pesticides.