Safety: Guide to lyme disease

  • DEET (N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) may be used on exposed skin. Permethrin (Permanone) will keep ticks off your clothes and shoes for many hours but should not be applied directly to your skin. Remember, protective clothing alone may not be an effective preventive measure - use it with a repellent.
  • Examine Yourself. It is extremely important to examine yourself, children and pets several times a day. When you go indoors, shower and check yourself for ticks that may be on your skin, particularly in the areas of the groin, back of knees, armpits, and back of the neck. The nymph is so small (only the size of a pin head) that you may easily miss it. Look for ticks and also for a rash that may be a symptom of Lyme disease. Remember also that if you remove a tick before it is attached for more than 24 hours, you can greatly reduce your chances of getting Lyme disease.

Pets

Dogs (cats appear to be immune), cows, horses and other animals susceptible to Lyme may develop lethargy, arthritis or lameness, loss of appetite, swollen lymph glands or other symptoms if infected. You should consult your veterinarian if any of the above symptoms occur and you live in an endemic area. Most animals respond rapidly to treatment if promptly administered.

If You Are Bitten

  • Early detection and prompt removal of ticks is extremely important as it may take 24 to 36 hours or more for ticks to transmit the infection.
  • To remove ticks:
    • Use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers.
    • Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and slowly pull it straight out.
    • The mouth parts of adult ticks may sometimes remain in your skin, but this will not cause Lyme disease.
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