Lyme or tick-borne disease is on the rise in nearly all states in the US. Health officials have issued a warning alarming the population about the severity of the problem. There is a need more than ever to be alerted about the situation particularly because the number of inflicted are known to be on a sharp rise. More importantly, experts say that there are hidden ways Lyme disease can spread. Which really means for the public to be aware of all the risks that may be around them.
Statistics from 2017 show that numbers were at a record high during the year. In 2016, there were around 49,000 reported cases which rose drastically to 59,350 in 2017. Facts from the year 2018 exhibit a similar trend, more and more people find themselves falling a victim to Lyme disease.
All of that being said, let us look into how the condition may secretly spread.
How you can be exposed to Lyme disease?
There is no one way you may be exposed to the illness. But there are obviously ways to know when you might be at a risk. For example, most reported cases occur from mid-May to late August. During these months, the ticks continue to multiply their population at a fast rate. It is pertinent to know that you may be inflicted with Lyme disease when a young tick is able to bite into your skin subsequently transmitting bacteria.
What you really need to know is that the tick carrying the Lyme can be found in tall grass. Therefore, you need to be cautious when moving around uneven playing grounds or fields. Additionally, the tick likes to attach itself on the warmest part(s) of the body. This could be your groin region, armpits or even your scalps.
Getting a Lyme disease can mean serious problems for the patient because it can result in long term consequences. The person might experience severe headache, fatigue and pains in the joints. This coupled with Erythema Migrans rash that may start covering your skin.
Fortunately, there are ways to minimize your risk by avoiding the following habits/practices.
- Being around your pet who spends a considerable amount of time outdoors
- Visiting parks in the cities and walking in fields with tall untrimmed grass
- When you rake or scrape leaves (the ticks may hide under the leaves to seek protection from sun)
- Neighbourhoods with mice, squirrel, deer and other potential carrier population.
- Not making yourself aware of what a tick looks like
Some tips for prevention
If you may suspect your neighbourhood to abode tick population, doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. Lyme disease can be prevented by firstly considering all the risk factors mentioned above. Once you have made a checklist of all those activities proceed with some other essential preventive measures.
- Buy an insect repellant that contains permethrin which works best against tick. Treat your clothing attire from your shirt to the boots with the repellant. Try avoiding to wear clothes that have been left untreated.
- Do not hesitate from getting a full body check for the presence of tick or Lyme disease. Consult your doctor at the earliest if you suspect yourself exhibiting symptoms.
- Take a shower immediately after visiting a field or an area with tall grass.
- Wash your clothes thoroughly once you return back from outdoors.