Lime Disease

Signs and Symptoms

1. A rash often with a pale center, that develops where a tick bite occurred two days to a months before. The rash may last two to four weeks or longer. (Some victims, however, don’t remember having a rash).

2. Headache, fever, chills, sore throat, fatigue, and aching muscles and joints.

3. After several weeks or months, paralysis of the face, stiff neck, irregular heartbeat, and fainting sensitivity to light.

4. Joint pain and swelling.

What to do now

1. If you find a tick on your skin, remove it immediately with tweezers: Grasp it as close to the skin as possible; pull gently and steadily to remove the entire tick. Avoid squeezing or twisting the tick’s body, since this may spread bacteria into your skin or blood.

2. Put the tick in rubbing alcohol to preserve it for analysis.

3. After removal, disinfect the bite with alcohol, wash your hands in soap and water.

4. Don’t use kerosene, petroleum jelly, or a lighted cigarette or match to dislodge a tick, all of these are ineffective techniques.

When to call a doctor

1. If you’ve been bitten by a tick, and you have symptoms of Lyme disease.

2. If your symptoms return after treatment.

How to prevent it

1. Wear light-colored clothing when you’re in grassy or wooded areas to make ticks easier to spot. Wear shoes (not sandals), long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Tuck your pants into your socks. Spray an insect repellent containing DEET on clothing. Use sparingly on skin.

2. Cheek your skin, hair, and clothing for ticks after an outing.

3. Make sure that your pet is free of tick.

4. Clear away bush near your home that might attract ticks.

5. Stack woods away from the house, because woodpiles attract mice and the ticks.

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