summer%202014%20048_edited.jpg

ticks & lyme disease

Pennsylvania’s Lyme disease cases are among the highest in the country, so it’s very important to be proactive

Prevention

  • Wear bug repellant that contains Deet

  • Treat clothing with Permethrin or you can buy clothes that have already been treated with it

  • Wear light colored clothes- this makes ticks easier to spot

  • Wear long sleeves and pants- tuck your pants into your socks for added protection

After Your Hike

  • Do a tick check on a regular basis and after every hike- check your under arms, ears, hairline, knees and waist first-remember that nymphs can be as small as a poppy seed

  • Shower ASAP after your hike- this is a great time for a tick check and it will wash off any ticks that have not attached themselves to you yet

  • Wash and dry all clothes immediately after your hike- 10-15 minutes in the dryer will kill any ticks

  • Remember to check your dog -their ears, tails, legs, toes and under their collar are tick hot spots

Tick Bites

  • Remove a tick with tweezers as close to the skin as possible. Do not pull the body of the tick, this may cause the head to detach and remain in the skin. Apply gentle pressure and carefully pull the tick away from the skin

  • Do not twist the tick or use petroleum jelly or hot matches, this may stimulate the tick to release additional infected saliva into the wound and could increase the risk of infection

  • Thoroughly disinfect the area after the tick has been removed and wash hands with soap and warm water

  • Freeze the tick in a plastic bag to save for later identification if symptoms occur

  • You can also send the tick in to be tested- East Stroudsburg University offers free tick testing to Pennsylvania Residents- go to TickLab.org for more information

Symptoms

  • Not everyone will experience symptoms

  • Symptoms resemble the flu and can include headache, fever, chills, muscle and joint aches and fatigue

  • A bullseye rash is a tell-tale sign of a tick bite

  • Seek medical attention if you suspect a Lyme infection