Each year, approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to CDC by state health departments and the District of Columbia. However, this number does not reflect every case of Lyme disease that occurs in the United States every year. Lyme disease is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected black-legged tick according to the CDC.
Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash. If caught early, successful treatments include antibiotics. The east coast forrest regions carry the highest incidence rates of Lyme disease, but infected ticks are also found throughout the Midwest and West coast as well.
Here are three ways to prevent Lyme disease.
- Avoid direct contact with ticks. Walk in the center of the path instead through the trees and grass. Avoid wooded and busy areas with high grass as well. Remember to wear a hat, long sleeves and pants when hiking.
- Repel Ticks with DEET or Permethrin Use repellents with 20-30% DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on skin and clothing. Parents should apply to children avoiding hands, eyes and mouth.
- Find and Remove Ticks from your body - Shower after being outdoors to wash off ticks and sprays. Use a mirror to search for ticks (check under arms, in and around the ears, belly button, knees, waist and hair). Don't forget to check pets and gear. It is also a good idea to put clothes in they dryer for one hour high heat to kill any potential ticks.