There are over 400,000 new cases of Lyme disease in the US every year and it is growing rapidly. The revised CDC estimates increased the number of cases by more than ten-fold what was previously believed making Lyme disease one of the fastest-growing infectious diseases in the US.
Untreated, Lyme disease can become a severely debilitating disease affecting joints, the heart, the brain, and/or the central nervous system. There are half a million Americans struggling with late-stage Lyme disease.
Late-stage and post-treatment Lyme disease (PTLD) causes immense suffering and severe health issues for thousands of patients with little remedy.
Prevention is key, yet few are aware of the risks or how to take precautions.
Yearly Estimated New Cases of Lyme in the US
Fastest tick-borne infectious disease
Suffering Post Treatment Lyme
What’s the best way to prevent a tick bite?
AVOID areas where ticks live. Ticks thrive in wood piles, long grass, leaf piles, and beach grass.
WEAR light-colored clothing: long pants, sleeves, socks, and closed-toe shoes.
APPLY EPA-approved tick repellent to skin and insecticide to clothing and shoes as directed.
REMOVE clothing upon entering the home; toss into dryer at a high temperature for 10-15 minutes.
EXAMINE yourself and your pets for ticks daily. Check everywhere — ticks love to hide!
Found a tick? Don’t panic.
DO NOT yank the tick out. If you yank it out, the tick’s mouth could remain and so could the infections that cause disease
Remove the tick as soon as possible. Use pointy tweezers. Slide the tweezers between your skin and the tick’s mouth. Gently pull the tick straight up and away from your skin. It may take two or three tries.
If you don’t have tweezers use your fingers, but take the same approach. Protect your fingers with a tissue or plastic bag and wash them afterwards.
DO NOT squish the tick. Take the time to remove it carefully. If you squish the tick, the infections may enter your skin.
DO NOT use a match or liquid to smother the tick. This approach will not necessarily remove the tick and may prevent you from getting it tested.
Once out, have the tick tested for diseases.Testing the tick is important to identify its species and diseases it’s carrying. This information may aid in your diagnosis. It will also help researchers better understand tick habitats and patterns. Ask the lab to test the tick for Lyme disease and other tick-borne pathogens. Request that your lab test for Lyme disease and other tick-borne pathogens (co-infections).
Lastly contact your doctor right away so you can be placed on antibiotics.