Lyme disease is caused by the bite of a tick. Ticks live on all six continents. It doesn’t matter if the tick is black, brown or another color. All ticks can potentially carry lyme disease. People can get lyme disease no matter where they live. Some examples:
- A woman is planting flowers in her meticulously groomed lawn when a tick bites her on her shoulder. She doesn’t notice it until the next morning when she is showering.
- A boy goes camping in the woods with his family. Playing archery on a hot afternoon, a tick bites him on the back of his neck. His mom notices it hours later when putting him to bed.
- A strong young man is his twenties goes hiking in the woods with his friends. The next day he feels sore and assumes that it’s because he hasn’t gone hiking in several months. When in the shower, he notices a tick on his leg and removes it.
Lyme disease can be prevented by:
1. When out in the woods, wear a hat, long sleeve shirt, long pants, socks, and boots. Avoid wooded, bushy areas. Stay in the middle of the trail.
2. Spray your cloths, boots, socks, and exposed skin with a repellent that has at least 20% deet, following directions on the can.
3. If a tick gets on your skin, remove it carefully with a tweezers. Do not light a match or use finger nail polish.
4. Shower within two hours of your hike, and wash with warm soapy water. Examine your body completely for any possible tick bites.
5. If you have been bitten by a tick, see a doctor and ask for a prescription of antibiotics as a precaution against developing lyme disease.