How Can I Prevent Getting Lyme Disease? Fortunately, the cause of Lyme disease is known and the disease can be prevented. Essential to prevention is the avoidance of deer ticks. Although generally only about one percent of all deer ticks are infected with the Lyme disease bacterium, in some areas more than half of them harbor the microbe. Most people with Lyme disease become infected during the late spring, summer, and early fall when immature ticks are out looking for their meal. Except in warm climates, few people are bitten by deer ticks during winter months.
Lyme disease is caused by spiral-shaped bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. It is carried by infected deer ticks. A tick becomes infected by feeding on an animal that carries the bacteria. Infected ticks then transmit the disease to humans. The bacteria travel through the bloodstream, causing a number of symptoms, including fever, headache, stiff neck, body aches and fatigue. Once a tick attaches itself to the body, it feeds on the persons blood. As it is feeding, the tick infects the person with Lyme disease bacteria. The tick must be attached to the body for 36 to 48 hours to transmit Lyme disease.
Symptoms of early Lyme disease usually begin one to two weeks after a tick bite. The first symptom is a rash, which starts as a small red spot where the tick bite occurred. Approximately 90 percent of patients with Lyme disease have the rash as the initial symptom. Sometimes the …
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