Spring And Lyme Disease

The months of April and May are the most active for ticks. Things are warming up for them too, and they’re hungry! Particularly in the Northeast, deer ticks and there black-legged ticks can be infected with a bacteria which they can transmit to humans. Symptoms tend to appear spring through autumn, creating what some call a “Lyme season.” A person is more likely to get the disease during the spring and summer because a lot of time is spent outside, often with large amounts of skin exposed.

Symptoms for Lyme disease are flu-like, with fever,aches,headaches,and fatigue. There is usually a target shaped rash at the site of tick bite, but most people do not find the rash until after they’ve discovered that they have the disease. If left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to chronic joint pain or heart trouble, so prompt treatment is essential. In recent years, there has also been some controversy about possible long-term effects of the disease, even after treatment, and the dangers of how it might be affected by other bacteria transmitted by the ticks.

Normally, Lyme disease risk ramps up in May. But This past winter, was record-breaking, and when you get records, when you have extremes in weather events, to some degree all bets are off. We don’t really know whether the nymphs are going to start their activity earlier this year than in normal years. So it’s remotely possible they could be out as early as April. They’re cold-blooded creatures, so things get sped up in terms of their metabolism and development when things are warmer. So it could be a bit earlier than usual. I wouldn’t wait to take action, The time is now!

The life cycle of the deer tick comprises three growth stages: the larva, nymph and adult. In both the northeastern and mid-western U.S., where Lyme disease has become prevalent, it takes about two years for the tick to hatch from the egg, go through all three stages, reproduce, and then die. Anyone can get Lyme disease, and all ages are at risk.”. “Males of all ages tend to have the highest number of cases, but the risk is present for everyone.” As might be expected, the people most at risk are those who are active outdoors in the warm weather.

If you remove a tick as soon as you find it, it is very likely that the tick did not transmit the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi to you because it was not attached long enough for transmission to occur. Your doctor may suggest watching the bite and waiting to see if any symptoms occur instead of beginning treatment immediately. If you begin to develop symptoms or a rash at the site of a tick bite, contact your doctor right away.There are also several other diseases carried by ticks that appear similar to Lyme disease. Fortunately many of these diseases can also be treated with antibiotics. If you begin to feel sick following a bite, contact your doctor.

It is important to know how to protect oneself from the disease. This is not always an easy job, since the adult deer tick is less than an inch long, and the nymphs are about one-quarter of an inch in size. In general, though, when outdoors, it is important to avoid wooded areas with dense shrubs and leaf litter, and to make sure your yard is mowed, raked and trimmed so that ticks find it less attractive. Be vigilant without becoming so concerned that you deny yourself, or your family, the pleasures of outdoor activities.

Celeste Botonakis

On the Nursing Assistant Guides blog, certified medical assistant Celeste Botonakis explores the daily life of a CMA. She'll keep you up-to-date with the latest on what’s happening in the field, and provides tips for those who are interested in becoming a medical or nursing assistant. Celeste has served in the medical field for over six years, and is passionate about helping people. She currently works at CSR Primary Care in Skokie, Illinois. Click here to learn more about Celeste Botonakis and NursingAssistantGuides.com.