Things You Should Know About Lyme Disease and Other Tick-borne Diseases

New Hampshire (NH) continues to have one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the nation, and about 60% of deer ticks sampled in NH are infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease (2014, Medscape).

Additional preventative measures can include:

  • Avoid tick-infested areas when possible and stay on the path when hiking to avoid brush.
  • Wear light-colored clothing that covers arms and legs so ticks can be more easily seen.
  • Tuck pants into socks before going into wooded or grassy areas.
  • Apply tick repellent (20%-30% DEET) to exposed skin. Other repellent options may be found here: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/insect/choose.htm.
  • Outdoor workers in NH are at particular risk of tick-borne diseases, and they should be reminded about methods of prevention.
  • Do daily tick checks to look for ticks on the body, especially warm places like behind the knees, the groin, and the back and neck.
  • Remove ticks promptly using tweezers. Tick removal within 24-36 hours of attachment can prevent disease.
  • Monitor for signs and symptoms of tick-borne diseases for 30 days after a tick bite. Patients should contact their healthcare provider if symptoms develop.

References
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/825419
http://nhpr.org/post/things-you-should-know-about-ticks-infographic

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