May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and there is no better time to learn how to protect yourself from ticks. This article teaches you all you need to know about tick infections.
What Are the Current Research Findings?
A major review shows over 14% of the world’s population has experienced Lyme disease. This tick-borne illness results in rashes and flu-like symptoms such as joint and muscle aches, nausea, headache, and vomiting.
While the condition is rarely fatal, Lyme disease can lead to long-term health issues. This includes eye inflammation, irregular heartbeat, severe fatigue, and hepatitis.
How Frequent Is Lyme Disease?
According to experts at Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center, over 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease are estimated to happen annually in the United States. This makes Lyme disease the most frequently occurring tick-borne infection in North America. The disease is transmitted by deer ticks, which are small and difficult to see.
Tips for Dealing with Tick Infection?
Thomas Mather, a leading Lyme expert at the University of Rhode Island’s Tick Encounter Resource Center, provides tips on tick-bite prevention and strategies to prevent tick-borne diseases.
He said the most crucial thing to consider when conducting a tick check is to check your lower extremities first and then move up. The critical places to check include:
● Behind knees
● In the groin area
● Around the waistline
● In the belly button
● Inside armpits and elbows
● Between the toes
● On the scalp
● Around the hairline
Mather said it is also important to check where your clothing binds or meets with your skin. This is because ticks can crawl into those areas and won’t be able to go any further, so they bite there.
Next, you need to examine your pets. Concerning dogs, the head is the most important place to check for ticks. You need to check all places where the tick could get caught up in the creases or fur of your pet’s skin. Additionally, you need to check between the legs and toes, in and around the collar area and ears, and the base of the tail.
If you locate a tick, Mather suggests doing the following:
● Remove the tick using fine-tipped, pointy tweezers, getting as close to the skin as possible, and pulling the tick out.
● Place the tick in a Ziplock bag for easy identification.
● Send a photo of the top of the tick to TickSpotters, where experts can assess it.
While tick testing can be a useful resource, it is not a substitute for medical diagnosis of the disease. You should still visit your