Lyme disease frequently asked questions (faq) - mn dept of health

Minnesota Department of Health Fact Sheet Lyme Disease Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How can I prevent myself from getting Lyme
 Check frequently for ticks, and remove them disease?
Ticks actually have to bite you and remain  Avoid possible tick habitats during the peak time of attached for one to two days before they can year (generally mid-May through mid-July). Blacklegged ticks (also known as deer ticks or bear ticks) are found in wooded, brushy areas. Unless you anaplasmosis (another tick-borne disease) may spend time in that kind of setting, simply being in a be transmitted more quickly, in 12-24 hours. high-risk county won't place you at risk. Parents should check children for ticks. o If walking or hiking in the woods, stay on well-  If you find a tick on yourself, remove the tick o Besides mid-May through mid-July, some promptly by pulling in a slow but firm manner. blacklegged ticks are also out earlier in the o If possible, use a pair of tweezers or specially designed tick forceps to grasp the tick by the o Avoid folk remedies like Vaseline®, nail polish o Products containing permethrin, which are remover, or burning matches - they are not a used on clothing, are especially recommended for people who will be spending an extended period of time in possible tick habitat.  Routinely check your pets for ticks.  Keep children’s play-sets or swing-sets in a sunny and dry area of the yard, away from woods, brush How do I know if I should see my doctor after
o Standard DEET-based products are another being bitten by a tick?
Use a product containing no more than 30  The risk of getting a tick-borne disease is small, especially if the tick is removed soon after it reports that concentrations up to 30% are  Monitor the area surrounding your bite for about a month, to watch for the expanding rash that Follow the manufacturer's directions for characteristic expanding rash that often appears as a red ring with central clearing, or a "bull's- Alternative repellents to DEET or permethrin are not generally as effective in preventing tick o The rash begins as a small red area that may expand to several inches or more in diameter. o A rash may appear on one or more places on  Wear clothes that will help to shield you from ticks. the body, may include one or more rashes, o Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. o Tuck your pants into the top of your socks or o It is common to develop an area of inflammation boots, to create a "tick barrier.” and itching up to the size of a quarter right after o It may be easier to spot ticks if you are wearing being bitten by a tick. This is due to your body’s reaction to the tick’s saliva and is not a symptom o However, if you have been bitten by an infected tick, the expending rash will reappear a few days later and typically will be larger than two inches across. It does not always have a "bull's eye" appearance and may look like a big red circle that is red throughout. Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control If you require this document in another format, such as large print, please call 651-201-5414. Lyme Disease FAQ – page 2  Not everyone develops or notices the rash, What is the likelihood of having complications
however, so it's also important to be alert for after finishing treatment for Lyme disease?
other possible symptoms of Lyme disease - fever, headache, chills, fatigue, sore throat, a stiff neck,  Most people have a complete resolution of their and pain in the muscles or joints - if you've spent symptoms after treatment. A small percentage of time in "tick country" during the past month. patients (especially those diagnosed in the later stages of the disease) have persistent complaints  Other tick-borne diseases can also cause similar after treatment. In that instance, our doctor will help you determine whether further antibiotic Treatment following a tick bite
What can be done to control tick populations?
 In some circumstances, a short (1-day) antibiotic treatment soon after a tick bite might prevent the  There are measures you can take to reduce the development of Lyme disease. Several criteria number of ticks around your home. In general, drier conditions mean fewer blacklegged ticks: o The tick must be identified as the blacklegged  Keep lawns mowed, brush trimmed, and leaf litter o The tick must have been attached for at least  Keep trails or paths in wooded areas on your 36 hours (if it is engorged -- puffed up with blood -- then it was probably on this long).  Make a landscape barrier (such as a three foot o The local infection rate in the blacklegged ticks wide border of wood chips) between your lawn must be at least 20%. This is likely the case for much of Minnesota, but call MDH (651- o The treatment must be started within 72 hours (3 days) of finding the attached tick on o The treatment is only for adults and children 8  Talk to your doctor about the single dose antibiotic treatment if you meet these criteria. You can also take a "wait and see" approach and watch for signs and symptoms of Lyme disease. Prompt treatment of the disease is very effective and will prevent Is there a vaccine for Lyme disease?
 No. There was a vaccine for a while, but the manufacturer pulled it off the market citing poor sales. We do not expect any other Lyme disease vaccines in the near future. A vaccine against Lyme disease would not protect against other If I’ve had Lyme disease in the past, am I immune
from getting it again?

 No. There is no evidence to suggest that getting Lyme disease once means you are protected from getting it again; there are individuals who


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