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Lyme Disease Safety

 

Lyme Disease is a tick-borne illness caused by a bacterium. Lyme disease is spread by the bite of a deer tick that already has the germ.

For the medical facts about Lyme Disease, we refer you to the MaineCDC's online library of information at:

http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/boh/ddc/lyme/lyme1.htm

According to the MaineCDC, limiting exposure to ticks reduces the likelihood of any tick-born disease infection, including Lyme Disease. In persons exposed to tick-infested habitats, prompt careful inspection and removal of crawling or attached ticks is an important method of preventing disease. It may take several hours of attachment before microorganisms are transmitted from the tick to the host, so preventing ticks from attaching and removing any ticks promptly are important safety steps.

Important tips for Lyme Disease prevention:

  • Wear light-colored clothing -- this will allow you to see ticks that are crawling on your clothing
  • Tuck your pants legs into your socks so that ticks cannot crawl up the inside of your pants legs.
  • Apply repellants to discourage tick attachment. Repellents containing permethrin can be sprayed on boots and clothing, and will last for several days. Repellents containing DEET ( n, n-diethyl- m-toluamide) can be applied to the skin, but will last only a few hours before reapplication is necessary. Use DEET with caution on children because adverse reactions have been reported.
  • Conduct a body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas by searching your entire body for ticks. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Remove any tick you find on your body.
  • Don't forget your pets! Lyme disease can affect them too. Check your dogs and cats regularly for ticks, and remove them promptly. Talk with your veterinarian about flea and tick prevention, and vaccination for Lyme disease.

Please visit the MaineCDC Lyme Disease Resource Center for medical information, and more information on prevention.

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