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Check Your Health: Lyme Disease — Know The Symptoms And Treatments

June 11, 2012 by Special To The ...

Check Your Health_4.jpgCheck Your Health is a web-only feature being offered monthly by The Cheshire Herald. Each month, a professional from MidState Medical Center will offer advice on a different issue pertaining to health.

Lyme disease was first identified in 1975 in the Connecticut town of Lyme. It is a tick-borne infection, although not all ticks are carriers. Deer and mice are primarily responsible for passing the bacteria to ticks.
Lyme disease prevalence is highest between May and September. The following are ways to avoid contracting the disease:
*Wear protective clothing (long-sleeves and long-pants)
*Wear light-colored clothing to more easily spot ticks
*Check skin daily for ticks
*Remove ticks promptly
*Use insecticides in your backyard
*Keep brush cut short
*Apply insect repellant with 20-30% DEET
Ticks should be removed immediately using tweezers. Pull the tick upward without twisting to avoid leaving part of the tick in the skin. Wash the area with soap and water and apply an antibiotic cream. Call you primary care physician to report the tick bite.
Symptoms vary based upon how much time has passed since the tick bite. Contact your primary care physician if you are experiencing these symptoms:
*Days or weeks after the tick bite:
*Generally feeling ill
*Itchy body
*Muscle pain
*Stiff neck
*Spreading rash
Weeks or months after the tick bite, if left untreated:
*Muscle pain
*Weakness of the face
*Heart problems
Months or years after the tick bite, if left untreated:
*Nervous system impairment
*Memory problems
*Speech problems
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics as a preventative measure within 72 hours of the tick removal. If you have already been diagnosed with Lyme disease, antibiotics will also be prescribed, but the length of required treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and how long you have had the disease.
The good news is that Lyme disease is curable. It is imperative though that you see your healthcare provider as soon as possible following a tick bite to prevent further complications.

Alina Osnaga, MD
MidState Medical Group Primary Care Specialists


Lyme Disease

June 11, 2012 by Alexander Davis (not verified), 4 years 41 weeks ago
Comment: 2095

Simply reducing deer numbers to natural levels, without any other actions of any kind taken, can eradicate Lyme Disease. See:
As reported by Gail Collins in The New York Times 5/31/12, Paul Curtis, extension wildlife specialist at Cornell University, says that to get the tick population down to a reasonable level, “you need deer densities of 6-8 deer per square mile or less. In the urban-rural fringes of many large metropolitan areas it’s not unusual to have densities of 100-200 deer/square mile.”
Studies in Connecticut and elsewhere have shown that decreasing the deer population results in a decrease in the incidence of Lyme Disease: (see pages 2-4)
In Bridgeport CT, lowering the deer population 74% resulted in a 92% decrease in nymphal deer ticks. In Groton CT the deer population was reduced from 77 per square mile to 10 per square mile, and the Lyme Disease incidence decreased by 83%. This is because the adult deer ticks require a large mammal to reproduce. Smaller mammals like mice can host the smaller larvae and nymphs, but these come from the eggs laid by the adults. Killing the deer stops the cycle.

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