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Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected blacklegged tick (deer tick).  Typical symptoms include a characteristic bulls-eye rash, fever, headache, fatigue and muscle and joint pain.  Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings and the possibility of exposure to the infected ticks; blood tests are also performed to detect the body’s immune response to the infection.  In its early stages, the disease is readily cured with oral antibiotics; however, untreated or inadequately treated infection may progress to late-stage arthritic or nervous system complications requiring intensive therapy.  Steps to prevent Lyme disease include avoiding tick-infested areas, using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, and landscaping.

You can protect yourself by following these simple steps when you spend time outdoors:

  • 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.
  • Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors and check again once indoors. 
  • Consider using insect repellent. Follow label directions. 
  • Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails. Avoid contacting vegetation. 
  • Avoid sitting directly on the ground or on stonewalls.
  • Keep long hair tied back, especially when gardening.

Free brochures on Lyme disease are available through the office of Intercommunity Health Coordination.  Please call 610.891.5311 to request a brochure.

For more information:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/lyme

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