Lyme Disease Skyrockets
Cases of Lyme Disease have tripled between 1992 at 10,000 cases nationally to almost 40,000 in 2009.
95% of Lyme Disease cases occur in 12 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Maine, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. To complicate matters, as infection rates rise, a second, similar infection has been cropping up where Lyme Disease first became prominent- called Babesiosis. Babesiosis is slightly different, harms red blood cells and can mimic malaria in its symptoms.
As Americans increasingly make their way outdoors- and unfortunately, into the realm ticks occupy- CBS offers these tips to avoid Lyme Disease and Babesiosis-carrying ticks:
Avoid wooded, bushy areas with high grass, and stick to the center of hiking trails.
Use bug repellants that contain 20 percent or more of DEET on skin, or ones that contain permethrin on clothing. Some clothes are pre-treated with permethrin and can protect from ticks through 70 washes.
Even these measures can’t guarantee a tick won’t bite, so hop in the shower within two hours of returning from the outdoors to double-check and wash off any creepy crawlers.
If you find a tick latched on, use a fine-tipped tweezers to steadily lift it off – steady is the key word since twisting and jerking can break off parts of the tick, leaving it in your skin.
Clean the area with rubbing alcohol, or soap and water after removing the tick.
Don’t forget to check your pet- they’re at a high risk for bites, and ticks are harder to find under all that fur.
Have you ever had a close call with a deer tick?