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Red Lake Hospital Infection Prevention

TICKS: Lyme Disease

 

TICKS: Lyme Disease

Simple family outings in the woods, park, or even in your own backyard can leave your vulnerable to picking up ticks. It’s important to fully understand ticks in order to avoid being bitten by ticks that may carry LYME DISEASE.

TICK CHARACTERISTICS:

Ticks are related to mites, spiders and scorpions. Most adult ticks are the size of a sesame seed, and nymphs are the size of a poppy seed

Ticks do not have wings and do not jump. Instead they climb up long blades of grass or brush, and then attach themselves to animals or people passing through the vegetation.

Ticks are noted for crawling under clothing, hiding under a person’s hairline and attaching to skin

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Understanding Lyme Disease:

Lyme disease is a serious disorder transmitted by ticks to humans

It was first identified in U.S. 1975

According to CDC(Center of Disease Control) there were approximately 111,826 reported in the US

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How do people get Lyme Disease:

It is caused by a microscopic, corkscrew-shaped bacterium that is transmitted by the bite of deer ticks (also known as western black-legged ticks)

A tick can remain on your skin for an average of 36-48 hours to pass the Lyme disease pathogen to the human host.

Lyme Disease Symptoms:

Headache

Chills and fever

Muscle and joint pain

Fatigue (tired)

Swollen lymph nodes

A red rash that resembles a bull’s eye

Protecting yourself and family:

Wear insect repellant when outdoors. Follow the direction on the package.

Wear light colored pants and socks to identify ticks

Tuck pants into socks to reduce the ticks from getting under your clothing

Stay away from heavily wooded areas and high grassy areas

Brush leaves away from home

If you find a tick, use a pair of tweezers to grasp the ticks head as close to the skin as possible (without crushing it) and pull it directly out. Do not remove with petroleum jelly or hot objects, such as matches or cigarettes. If you are unable to remove seek the assistance.

If you do not seek medical attention and it goes untreated, Lyme disease can lead to serious health problems including:

Chronic joint inflammation: (Lyme arthritis) particular in the knee

Neurological symptoms, such as facial palsy and neuropathy

Irregular heart beats

Memory loss

Changes in mood and sleep habits

Getting treated is very important: See your doctor within the first 48 hours your doctor.

If you get to the Doctor early, Lyme Disease can be treated with antibiotics and you can be cured within a few weeks of taking the drug.

Red Lake Indian Hospital

Roberta Williams, BSN, RN

Infection Practitioner/Employee Health

(218) 679-3912

 

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