This spring, the state’s tick population increased, meaning there is also a greater risk for Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected tick, and common symptoms include a fever, a headache, fatigue, a stiff neck, aches and pains in muscles and joints, poor appetite and swollen glands. Another sign of Lyme disease can also be a red skin rash.
You can get Lyme disease at any time. However, April through October is considered tick season.
To prevent Lyme disease, use insect repellent, remove ticks promptly, apply pesticides and work to reduce a tick habitat. It is important to note that ticks often are found in wooded areas, low-growing grass and in yards.
If you are bitten by a tick, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is important to remove a tick from your skin immediately. Using tweezers, grab the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible, and pull upward with steady, even pressure. Twisting or jerking the tick can cause the parts of the tick to remain in the skin.
After removing a tick, clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub or soap and water. Dispose of a live tick by drowning it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag or container, wrapping it tightly in tape or flushing it down a toilet. Don’t crush it with your fingers!
If you do get a tick bite, a single dose of doxycycline may be offered to adults who live in areas, such as Connecticut, ?where Lyme disease is prevalent. The antibiotic can be offered to adults who are not pregnant and to children 8 or older, ?as a prevention measure, ?if the attached tick is identified as a? Ixodes scapularis tick?, or a "deer tick." Not all tick species carry Lyme disease. A tick must also be attached to the body for at least 36 hours before doxycycline is given, and that attachment time can be estimated depending on how enlarged with blood the tick has become. Doxycycline must be given within 72 hours of a tick being removed.
Contact your doctor if you remove a tick that may have been attached to you for more than 36 hours. This will help prevent Lyme disease. Also, note that antibiotic treatment following a tick bite is not recommended as a means to prevent ?other tick-carried diseases, such as ?anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis or Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Noteworthy: Lyme disease was first identified in Lyme, Conn., in 1975.