From the 2005 movie Madagascar
Alex the Lion: What does Connecticut have to offer us?
Melman the Giraffe: Lyme Disease
Melman had it right; we are the home of Lyme Disease after all. Back in 1975 Lyme disease was first described after an outbreak of what seemed to be arthritis in children and adults in Lyme,CT.What was also noted was this was preceded by a rash. Yes, you read that correctly; Lyme Disease was named after the quaint little town of Lyme, CT (population just over 2,000).
Lyme is transmitted to humans from the bite of a blacklegged tick. It is most known for the bull’s eye rash that forms around the bite. Other indicators of Lyme include fever, headache, and fatigue. If left untreated, Lyme can spread to joints, your heart, and nervous system. The best way to prevent Lyme is to avoid getting a tick bite. Since April is the start of the active season for ticks we decided to check out what suggestions the Center for Disease Control had for dealing with ticks.
These little arachnids really like to hang out in wooded, brushy areas. So of course the CDC recommends avoiding these areas. While the CDC says avoid them, most of us flock to the woods once the weather starts to get warm for various outdoor activities. That being said here are some suggestions for tick avoidance:
- The CDC recommends using insect repellents on the skin with at least 20% DEET. Parents should spray the repellent onto their hands and then rub it on to their child.
- For your clothing use a product that has Permethrin. This can be sprayed directly onto most clothing. It is also possible to buy clothing with fabric treated with insect repellent.
- After you have been out in the woods try to take a shower within 2 hours of your return. This way you can wash off and better locate ticks. Remember ticks like warm places like your belly button and hair.
- Check all of your gear for a little stowaway.
- Should you find a tick remove it with fine-tipped tweezers as close to your skin as possible. Do NOT twist or jerk as you are removing (you or the tweezers).
- Clean the bite with rubbing alcohol, iodine scrub, or soap and water.
- Call your doctor if you get a fever or rash.
Go out, have some fun, but ALWAYS remember to do a tick check. As Brad Paisley put it, “I’d like to walk you through a field of wildflowers, and I’d like to check you for ticks.”
All pictures from the CDC