Sunday, December 7, 2008

Alert: Lyme Disease and Meningitis

Many people look forward to the warm weather months to enjoy hiking in the woods, playing in the backyard, and camping. However, with each passing year, there seems to be an increasing concern about the threat of Lyme Disease.

Occurrence and Prevention of Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease is usually transmitted through a tick bite. An infected tick must bite a human and remain attached for about 24 hours in order to transmit the disease.

The first line of defense should be to take appropriate precautions when outside. Wear long pants, long sleeves and socks when you are in wooded areas. Use insect repellent with Deet in order to keep ticks off. Also, keep as many leaves as possible out of your lawn since ticks seem to thrive in fallen leaves.

Next, when you come inside be sure to conduct regular tick checks at least once a day and to properly remove ticks as soon as they are discovered. The best way to remove a tick is with tweezers. Grab hold of the tick as close to your skin as possible and pull up in one motion. Check to make sure that all parts of the tick have been removed from your body.

People who regularly enjoy the outdoors or who live in a place with a high incidence of the disease, such as the Northeast United States, should be aware of the symptoms of the disease. Many, but not all, people who contract Lyme Disease get a red circular rash at the site of the tick bite. Other symptoms that might occur at this stage include headaches, fatigue, stiff neck, and muscle or joint pain.

It is important to take these precautions because Lyme Disease is a painful condition that can cause serious complications if left untreated. One of the complications concerns meningitis. Meningitis is an infection of the fluid surrounding a person’s spinal cord and brain. It is potentially fatal.

Lyme Disease Treatment
Of course, taking precautions are only effective if you get the proper medical treatment for the condition. Lyme Disease should be treated promptly with antibiotics which helps prevent the disease from progressing and avoiding the devastating complication of meningitis.

No comments: