Lyme Disease

Updated 7 years ago

To prevent Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, the best protection is to avoid contact with ticks. If you are working, playing, or relaxing in areas that may have ticks you should do the following:

  • Wear light colored clothing (spot ticks easier) with long sleeve shirts and pants
  • Create an extra &quot:no tick&quot: zone by tucking your pants into your socks and you shirt into your pants
  • Use insect repellent (with DEET) on your skin and apply permethrin (kills ticks on contact) to your clothes. For information on other recommended repellents, click on the following link: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/RepellentUpdates.htm
  • Check your clothing and skin carefully after being outdoors in likely tick infested areas &amp: remove ticks promptly
  • Wash area of any possible tick bites thoroughly with soap and water, apply an antiseptic to area of the bite
  • Mark on a calendar the date that you were bitten, then watch yourself for signs of Lyme disease or any changes in your personal health every day for the next month
  • Keep your lawn mowed, cut overgrown brush, and clear away leaf litter from your home
  • Inspect any pets daily and remove any ticks found

For more information please log onto www.MainePublicHealth.Gov

Lyme Disease Report #1

LYME DISEASE IS ON THE RISE IN MAINE. WITH THREE-QUARTERS OF THE INFECTIONS CONTRACTED MAY THROUGH AUGUST, NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE SURE YOU’RE TAKING STEPS TO STAY SAFE.

TONIGHT WE BEGIN A SPECIAL REPORT ON LYME DISEASE…WE’LL HEAR FROM THE EXPERTS AS TO EXACTLY WHAT IT IS AND HOW IT’S TREATED.

JOINING US FROM OUR CENTRAL MAINE BUREAU IS CENTRAL MAINE BUREAU CHIEF ADRIENNE BENNETT

ADRIENNE, WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THIS DISEASE.

THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT ABOUT THIS DISEASE IS THAT IT’S PREVENTABLE…HOWEVER, YOU’VE GOT TO KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR.

&lt:&quot:It sometimes looks like a black spec of dirt.&quot:

LYME DISEASE DOESN’T TRAVEL IN THE AIR, IN WATER, IN FOOD OR IN ANY OF THE USUAL WAYS OTHER VIRUSES AND BACTERIA CAN INFECT YOU…

THE MOST COMMON CARRIER IS THE DEER TICK…

MAINE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL DIRECTOR, DOCTOR DORA ANNE MILLS, HAS SEEN A LARGE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF MAINERS REPORTING LYME DISEASE, FROM LESS THAN 100 PER YEAR 10 YEARS AGO TO MORE THAN 500 CASES IN 2007…

FOLLOWING THE THREE C’S – CLEAN UP, CHECK DAILY AND COVER UP, CAN PROTECT YOU…

&quot:It’s a good idea for us to clean up our yard for a variety of reason including to reduce the tick population. Ticks like to live in dark warm places like leaves, old logs, piles of sticks. Second we need to check ourselves and children for ticks and if we see a tick to remove it right away. 2:51:40 The 3rd thing is to cover up.&quot:

SOME, BUT NOT ALL, TICKS CARRY THE BACTERIA WHICH CAUSES THE DISEASE…SOUTHERN MAINE COASTAL COMMUNITIES HAVE THE HIGHEST RATE OF REPORTED CASES…BUT IT HAS BEEN FOUND IN EVERY COUNTY…

2:55:20 &quot:We are seeing increases particularly along the Kennebec River and it makes sense (splice) because the deer are migrating that carry the ticks with the bacteria.&quot:

INLAND HOSPITAL’S INFECTION DISEASES EXPERT, DR. REKHA GOSWAMI, SAYS IF A TICK HAS BITTEN YOU, IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTICE IF IT’S ENGORGED…

&quot:The bacteria has to travel from the mid-gut to the salivary gland and that takes 24-48 hours so only the engorged ticks when it’s engorged that’s when the transmission occurs.&quot:

&quot:What you want to do is to take tweezers or if you have nails get as close to the skin as possible and pull it out.&quot:

IF LYME HAS BEEN CONTRACTED, A RASH WILL LIKELY BE VISIBLE…

&quot:The very vast majority of people are going to get a red rash in the vicinity of the tick bite 3-32 days after the bite.&quot:

NOT EVERYBODY GETS A RASH…THEY MAY EXPERIENCE EARLY SYMPTOMS OF THE DISEASE SUCH AS BODY ACHE OR FATIGUE…

IF LEFT UNTREATED, MORE SERIOUS PROBLEMS CAN DEVELOP…

&quot:Later on within 1 -2 months the other manifestations is neurological there are multiple neurological manifestations which include Bell’s Palsy, a facial nerve paralysis.&quot:

IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO CALL A DOCTOR AS SOON AS YOU SEE A RASH OR KNOW YOU’VE BEEN BITTEN BY A TICK AND ARE EXPERIENCING THESE SYMPTOMS…

&quot:Early antibiotics for instance during the period of the rash cures the very, very vast majority of Lyme Disease.&quot:

DR. MILLS SAYS TYPICAL TREATMENT WITH ANTIBIOTICS IS 2-3 WEEKS.

WHILE LYME DISEASE IS CURABLE BY TREATING THE INFECTION EARLY ON IT CAN BE HARDER TO DETECT IN LATER STAGES.

BOTH DOCTORS I SPOKE WITH SAY THERE IS CONTROVERSY ABOUT WHETHER THERE IS SUCH A THING AS CHRONIC LYME DISEASE AND IF LONG-TERM ANTIBIOTICS HELP.

COMING UP TOMORROW NIGHT, WE’LL MEET TWO WOMEN WHO FOUND OUT THEY HAD LYME DISEASE YEARS LATER. THEY CONSIDER THEMSELVES IN THE CHRONIC STAGES. WE’LL SEE HOW IT’S AFFECTING THEIR LIVES.


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