Tick and Lyme Disease warnings continue

Published Aug 7, 2017 at 4:00pm

Madison County’s Health Department is urging area residents to be aware of Lyme Disease, and how to deal with the ticks that spread it.

“Most cases of early Lyme disease go undetected. It is important to let your doctor know if you develop an usual rash, even if it disappears after a few days or weeks,” Madison County Health Department’s Medical Director Dr. Seelan Newton said.

Tick safety tips

Lyme disease is preventable. Add these tick prevention steps into your everyday routine to help reduce your risk: 

  • Consider wearing long pants tucked into your socks and a long sleeve shirt when you go hiking.
  • Wear light colored clothing to make spotting a darker colored tick easier.
  • Apply insect repellent effective against ticks on your shoes, body, and clothes whenever you are outside. 
  • When you shower, check your entire body from head to toe for ticks, especially for tiny ticks the size of a poppy seed. 

If you find a tick, remove it right away. Use a fine-tipped tweezers to grab the tick as close to your skin as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. If the mouthparts break off and stay in your skin, try to remove the mouth-parts with tweezers.

If you cannot remove the mouth easily, leave it alone and let the skin heal. After removing the tick, clean the bite area and your hands well with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Seal the tick in a bag or tape. Never crush a tick with your fingers.

Lyme disease symptoms

Early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease usually occurs between three and 30 days after a tick bite. Common symptoms are fever, chills, headache, and fatigue, in addition to a rash. Rashes from a tick bite may change in look and size.

A rash that is not itchy and slowly gets larger over a few days is the most common symptom of Lyme disease. If you see a rash and do not know what caused it, see your healthcare provider to get it checked out. 

For more information about symptoms of Lyme disease and preventing Lyme disease, visit: www.healthymadisoncounty.org/healthinfo/topicsa-z/topic-lyme