How to Protect Yourself from Tick Bites:
- Controlled Release
- How to Remove an Attached Tick
- Lyme Disease Information
- Get the Facts
- Lyme Bacteria
- Lyme Signs & Symptoms
Wear long pants, tucking cuffs into socks so that ticks cannot get on skin. Also wearing light-colored clothing makes it easier to spot the dark ticks. Smooth fabrics such as windbreaker material make it more difficult for ticks to cling. Long sleeves and hats also provide additional protection.
Ticks are very intolerant of being dried out. After being outdoors in an infested area, immediately place clothing in the dryer for 20 minutes to kill any ticks that may be present.
Outer clothing can be treated with the insecticide permethrin (Permanone, Penmakill). Permethrin is virtually non-toxic to humans and no systemic effects have been reported. When used as a repellent, permethrin is applied to exterior clothing where it dries and bonds to the cloth fiber. This water-based formula is non-staining, odorless and has exceptional resistance to degradation by sunlight (UV) heat and water. Permethrin should not be applied to skin -deactivation occurs in about 20 minutes. On clothing, depending on the strength of application, permethrin can last for weeks, even through launderings.
“DEET” (N, N-.diethyl-m-tiluamide) is an approved repellent for skin application. Exposure to high concentrations of DEET can pose some limited health hazards. Research has shown that performance dropped off when concentrations higher than 35% or higher were tested.
Introduced in 1998, controlled release DEET, is by far the most advanced and effective delivery system available. The active ingredient (DEFT) is encapsulated at a 20% concentration within a skin nourishing protein. The only commercially available product using this technology is Sawyer Controlled Release. This waterbased product (normally alcohol is the base) shows extraordinary promise of both safety of use and protection realized. Further information about this product can be obtained by visiting the following website: www.tickinfo.com.
These two main repellents that are recommended ( DEET applied to exposed skin and permethrin used to treat outer clothing) when used together, provide nearly 100% protection from ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers and fleas.
Composites use the presence of a gynergist to keep stimulating the evaporation of the remaining DEFT and fly repellents (R-326). In non-syergist products, only 25% to 30% of the total DEET applied evaporates, but the syergist can increase this rate and improve the overall effectiveness of a formula by 50% or more. These three added together (DEET + R-326 + MGK 264) form a composite insect repellent. You get the effective mosquito and tick repellency of DEFT and MGK 264, but you also get effective repellency of flies and gnats because of the R-326. By working together they each become more effective, last longer, and absorb less into the skin than straight DEFT formulas. The only commercially available product is Sawyer Gold.
Know the environment where ticks live. They like it cool, shady and damp. Avoid areas where there is leaf litter, shrubbery, and tall grass. Ticks don’t fly, jump, fall from trees or blow around in the wind. They are small, simple in their approach to locating a host and very patient. Their purpose in live is to propagate their species. Their sensory organs are complex and they can determine trace amounts of gases, such as carbon dioxide left by warmblooded animals and man. They can sense the potential host’s presence from long distances and even select their ambush site based upon their ability to identify paths that are well traveled
Check for ticks on clothing frequently and do a thorough, full body check when returning home. Remember – ticks like shady, damp places like behind the knees, ears, in the scalp, etc.
How to Remove an Attached Tick
Using a tweezers (not forgers!), grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull straight out. Then apply an antiseptic to the bite area. Do not irritate the tick prior to removal with heat or chemicals, or grasp them by the body, as this may cause the tick to inject more germs into tire skin. Tape the tick to a card and record the date and location of the bite. Remember, the sooner the tick is removed, the less likely an infection will result.
- You can test negative and still have Lyme disease.
- You can contract many tick-borne diseases simultaneously from the same bite.
- If you have an erythema migrans (EM) rash, you have Lyme disease.
- Lyme bacteria can cross the placenta into the fetus and can be found in breast milk.
- Lyme is a clinical diagnosis based on a patient’s symptoms, history and examination.
- Lyme can cause death occasionally.
- Lyme patients often get worse before getting better on treatment (Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction).
- Lyme symptoms can develop days or months after a tick bite.
- Borrelia burgdorferi
- Go intracellular and hide, go dormant and also mutate. Become sequestered in difficult to penetrate sites (central nervous system, joints, eyes).
- Use body’s own cells to shield them.
- May have other than spirochete forms such as L-form (cell wall deficient) and cystic form (giant L-body) which are not readily treatable with antibiotics and whose functions are not clearly understood.
- Have been found in patients after long-term treatment.
- Are associated with at least one neurotoxin.
Musculoskeletal: joint/muscle pain in feet, swelling in toes, balls of feet, ankle pain, burning in feet, shin splints,
joint pain or swelling, stiffness of the joints, neck or back, muscle pain or cramps that may migrate, neck creaks and
cracks, neck stiffness, TMJ.
Reproductive: testicular pain/pelvic pain, menstrual irregularity, milk production (lactation), sexual dysfunction or loss of libido.
Cardio-Pulmonary: chest pain or rib soreness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block, heart murmur or valve prolapse.
Neurological: twitching of the face, eyelids or other muscles, headache, tingling, numbness, burning or stabbing sensations, facial paralysis (Bell’s palsy), dizziness, poor balance, increased motion sickness, light-headedness, wooziness, difficulty walking, tremor, confusion, difficulty in thinking or with concentration or reading, forgetfulness, poor short term memory, disorientation (getting lost, going to wrong puce), difficulty with speech, double or blurred vision, eye pain, blindness, increased floaters, increased sensitivity to light or sound, buzzing or ringing in ears, ear pain, deafness, seizure activity, white matter lesions. Neuropsychiatric: mood swings, violent outbursts, irritability, depression, disturbed sleep, personality changes, obsessivelcompulsive disorder, paranoia, panic/anxiety attacks.
Gastrointestinal: nausea or vomiting, difficulty eating; change in bowel function (constipation, diarrhea), gastritis, abdominal cramping, irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction, cystitis.
Other: fever, sweats or chills, weight change (loss or gain), fatigue, tiredness, hair loss, swollen glands, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, swelling around the eyes.
Iabesiosis – a parasitic malaria-like illness caused by a protozoa, sometimes fatal in the elderly or those with no
spleen. May be more severe in patients with coexisting Lyme. Symptoms include fever, chills, fatigue, headache,
muscle pain, and anemia.
Ehrlichiosis – Ehrlichiosis is caused by rickettsia-like organisms, which are intracellular parasites. Human monocytic Ehrlichiosis is caused by Ehrlichia (E.) Chaffeensis. Human granulocytic Ehrlichiosis is caused by an E. equi-related strain. Symptoms include fever, malaise, headaches, chills, severe muscle aches, vomiting, anemia, lung infection, decreased white blood cells and platelets, elevated liver enzymes, seizures, encephalopathy, meningitis, confusion, ataxia, and cranial nerve palsy. Co-infection with Lyme can cause more severe symptoms. Death can result. Treatment is with doxycycline.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – A fine rash usually develops all over the body along with flu-tike aches, headaches, chills, confusion, light sensitivity, high fever.
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