Tips for your outdoor summer activities to prevent tick bites and the potentially dangerous infections they transmit

TIPS FOR YOUR OUTDOOR SUMMER ACTIVITIES TO PREVENT TICK BITES AND THE POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS INFECTIONS THEY TRANSMIT

  1. Spray your shoes, clothing, car, tent and surrounding campsite with tick repellent. Here is a DEET free option: https://www.cedarcide.com/product/tickshield/

  2. Screen your body for ticks daily, do not forget your hair!

  3. Screen your pets for ticks daily.

  4. Bring a pair of tweezers. If bitten, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.  Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Thoroughly clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol, iodine scrub, or soap and water.

  5. If bitten, save the tick and send it for testing to Igenex Lab.

  6. Take a photo of the tick with your phone and upload to http://tickencounter.org/tickspotters for a free identification.            

  7. Place all your clothing and shoes in the dryer for 30 minutes, then wash.

  8. Place your camping gear in a sealed bin if it’s stored indoors

  9. Be suspicious of fevers and sudden onset of fatigue, malaise, and migrating joint and muscle pain.

  10. Consult doctors who are experienced in Lyme Disease.  If you have a concern that you or a loved one has a Lyme infection, you may set up a complimentary phone consultation to discuss your options

Treatment Considerations

An erythema migrans (bulls eye) rash does not occur in all people with Lyme disease.  Some studies reported rashes in 80% of infected people, but in others it occurs in less than 20%.  Do not make the mistake of believing that the absence of a rash is proof that there is no infection. Secondly, the lack of long term follow-up of patient’s with Lyme Disease must be considered as a possibility that people without a rash went on to develop chronic symptoms of Lyme disease. Finally, a high proportion of ticks in some areas carry multiple bacteria, some of which are not responsive to the antiobiotic, doxycycline. Co-infections such as Babesia and Bartonella are among those that will not be covered by doxycycline.