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Health Promotion and Prevention Services

Tick/Lyme Disease Prevention

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF LYME DISEASE?

Different people may exhibit different signs and symptoms. The most common symptoms include:
• Fever
• Chills
• Headache
• Fatigue
• Muscle and Joint aches
• Swollen Lymph Nodes
• Rash

Symptoms usually develop between 3 and 30 days after a tick bite. In some cases, you may develop symptoms months after a bite.

These symptoms may include:
• Severe headache and neck stiffness
• Additional rashes on the body
• Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling
• Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints and bones
• Irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations
• Dizziness
• Shortness of breath


WHERE DO TICKS LIVE?

Ticks are most found most anywhere, in wooded areas, in neighborhood backyards and on university campuses where there is high grass or shrubs or even piles of leaves.


WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT A TICK BITE?

If you plan on walking outside, there are things you can do to avoid tick bites.

• Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily.
• Wear enclosed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants.
• Use an insect repellent on your skin (Off or DEET), and an insecticide on your clothing, boots or gear (Permethrin). Follow label directions.
• Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors and check again once indoors.
• Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails. Avoid contacting vegetation.
• Avoid sitting directly on the ground or on logs.
• Keep long hair tied back, especially when gardening.

After being outside, you should check yourself for ticks. Ticks can hide in your armpits, behind knees, in hair and in the groin area.

It is recommended that you should shower as soon as possible after spending time outside (preferably within two hours).

You can also tumble dry your clothing on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing. If clothes are damp, more time may be needed.

 

WHAT DO I DO IF I NOTICE A TICK ON ME?

If you find a tick on your body, don't panic. Not all ticks are infected and your risk of Lyme Disease is greatly decreased if the tick is removed within the first 36 hours.

 

HOW DO I REMOVE A TICK?

• Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.
• Pull upward with steady, even pressure to remove the tick. Avoid twisting or jerking.
• Clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
• If tick mouth parts remain in the skin, leave them alone. In most cases, they will fall out in a few days.

 

How to remove a tick

 

 

 

When removing a tick:
• Do not use nail polish, petroleum jelly or a hot match to make the tick detach.
• Do not touch the tick with your bare hands.
• Do not squeeze the body of the tick, as this may increase your risk of infection.

These methods do not work and will only increase the likelihood the tick will transmit Lyme disease to you.

PET SAFETY

Lyme disease is not limited to humans. Veterinarians have reported Lyme in both dogs and cats. Just as with humans, it is important for animals to avoid tick bites and receive prompt treatment for Lyme disease.

• Use reliable tick-preventitve products Speak with your vet about what would be right for your pet.
• After being outside, check your pet for ticks.
• If you find a tick, remove it immediately with tweezers.
• Clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
• Contact your veterinarian, who may perform a blood test to determine if the pet has been infected.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Centers for Disease Control
cdc.gov/ticks/

New York State Health Department
health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/lyme/

Broome County Health Department
http://gobroomecounty.com/clinics/lyme-disease
607-778-3930

Last Updated: 5/1/18