As the weather begins to turn warmer each year, more outdoor activities are enjoyed. While this can mean fun times with family and friends, precautions need to be taken in order to avoid health risks due to outdoor activity, such as Lyme disease. Ticks have become even more problematic so cases of Lyme disease are becoming more frequent. Since 2009, more cases have erupted in the United States, with a more prevalent increase in the northern region.
When hearing the term Lyme disease, most people associate the condition with tick bites but their knowledge ends there. Most people know how to avoid ticks by staying out of high grass and checking themselves after being in wooded areas. However, any additional knowledge of Lyme disease is usually unknown. Below are a few myths to consider so that you can know the facts when it comes to Lyme disease and ticks.
All Ticks Do Not Carry Lyme Disease
A common myth among the public is that all ticks carry Lyme Disease. This is not true. Blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, have the bacterium that will cause Lyme disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have revealed that this tick type is the only one to be concerned about when it comes to Lyme disease. Rocky Mountain wood tick, lone star ticks, and American dog ticks are not a cause the disease.
All Bites from a Deer Tick Do Not Result in Lyme Disease Transmission
Another myth about Lyme disease is that all bites from a deer tick will result in the individual being affected by Lyme disease. This is not true. Not all deer ticks of this type carry the bacterium for Lyme disease. According to research by the CDC, when Lyme disease is common in an area, four out of five deer ticks might carry the disease. However, in other areas, the odds are less. It is also important to consider that if removal of the tick takes place within a 24-hour time frame of a bite, the infection risk decreases.
Removing the Tick Properly
Other common myths involving ticks include the best way to remove the bug. Folk remedies such as using nail polish for suffocating or burning are common myths that should be avoided. These remedies allow the bug to infect for longer periods of time. The best way to remove a tick from the body is to use tweezers. Removal should take place as quickly as you can. The tick should be grasped as close to the skin as you can and pulled upward avoiding a twisting motion. Wash hands and the area once removal is completed.
Treatment for Lyme Disease
There is a common myth that a cure does not exist for Lyme disease. When the disease is caught in the early stages, antibiotics can be used to see the disease disappear. However, in a low number of cases, muscle pain, joint pain, and memory issues can remain persistent. It is important to be treated as quickly as possible if you have been bitten by a tick and feel you have Lyme disease. The quick response time can be beneficial in avoiding any long-term symptoms of the condition.
Lyme Disease Spreading to Others
Yet another common myth involving Lyme disease is that it can be spread among people. While you may see siblings or a husband and wife both becoming susceptible to Lyme disease, there is no concrete evidence that proves the disease can be spread to others. Essentially, the two individuals were most likely both bitten by infected ticks.
Overall, it is important to learn more about Lyme disease when you are enjoying outdoor activities, just to be on the safe side. By knowing the facts and myths, you can be treated quickly if bitten by a possibly infected tick.