After a tick attaches itself to your skin, the bacteria carried by these animals can infect you with Lyme disease within 36 to 48 hours. In America, 30,000 people are infected each year, but the good news is that this illness can be prevented and even treated if caught early enough.
When and Where you are Likely to be Infected
Tick season is prime as from May through to August. The highest cases of Lyme show up in areas located in the Upper Midwest and Northeastern sides of the United States. Those living in these regions, therefore, have to be extremely careful not to contact the disease whether it is prime tick season or not.
If you live in areas that do not have ticks, then you are entirely risk-free from contracting Lyme.
There are some misconceptions about how Lyme spreads. Some say that you can catch the disease from pets like dogs and cats. This is not true. You can, however, catch the disease while removing a tick from an infected person, so always remember never to use your bare hands to reduce the chances of the tick attaching to your skin.
Those infected don’t have to be isolated or quarantined as Lyme disease is not contagious. The only way it can be spread is through tick bites. To sum it up: no ticks, no Lyme.
Symptoms of Lyme disease
Like a lot of other infections, Lyme manifests itself through symptoms like fever and headaches. Apart from this, the patients are also likely to experience high levels of fatigue and a rash that is much like bulls-eye.
As soon as these symptoms start to show, those infected should be tested and treated immediately. Lyme disease has a cure, but this is not a reason to leave it untreated for a long time.
The disease can be treated with just a few weeks of antibiotics if caught early. If left to spread, however, Lyme can spread to the heart, the joints, and the nervous system, making it harder to cure. About 10 percent of people with untreated cases of Lyme end up with mild facial paralysis, a condition better known as Bell’s palsy.
Rather than wait for the infection so you can treat it, preventative
treatment of Lyme is advisable. If you are visiting a wooded area or an
area with tall grass and vegetation, make sure you use insect repellent
to reduce the chances of tick bites. Wearing light clothes can also help
you spot ticks faster. Even so, don’t forget to thoroughly wash your
clothes when you get home. You should also check for ticks on your body,
paying close attention to your hair and to skin folds. If you should
find a one, immediately remove it, but never with your bare hands.
To remove a tick, use tweezers and pull the animal out of your skin in a straight, upward motion. Following a recommendation from the CDC (Center for Disease Control), just to be safe, save that tick in case you have to be tested for infection.