The 411 on Avoiding Ticks and Lyme Disease

It seems like everyone is trying to spend as much time as possible outdoors right now—the beautiful summer weather is just too hard to resist. But it’s not just people who are living it up outside: Some not-so-welcome pests are also making themselves at home in your backyard and in parks. Unfortunately, that includes ticks—some of which can carry Lyme disease. With summer in full swing (and experts predicting a record number of ticks) it’s important to know how to protect yourself and what to do if you get bit.

Worried you were bit by a tick? You may see a rash that looks like a “bull’s eye,” red and in a circular pattern. Other symptoms of Lyme disease include flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain and swollen lymph nodes. If you think you have early signs of Lyme disease, see your doctor as soon as possible—it can be easily treated with antibiotics if detected early.

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  1. I am so glad to see this article on ticks. I contracted Lyme disease a few years ago and had to take antibiotics for 7 weeks. My husband noticed a large Bulls-eye on the underside of my forearm, not very visible to me. We did not know any of the symptoms of a tick bite that carried Lyme, so my husband thought it was possibly a bite from a spider, which worried me as much as if it was from a tick, at the time. I began having pain, especially in my right knee, and it was getting harder to walk on it. And pain in my eye, (where they like to hide), and muscle aches and pains in various places. So I finally saw my primary care doctor, she did a test and told me I had to take antibiotics for several weeks. After quite a while, I began to feel better. But I am very leery of walking on grass now or getting too close to shrubs. Needless to say, my husband has had to take over the duties of the yard ever since. I miss working out there, but I do not want to go through that again. Heed the advice here, and you will be able to avoid what happened to me. Enjoy the outside, just remember what they say in this article about preventing them.

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