The CDC estimates that 300,000 Americans contract Lyme disease every year. Information on tick prevention and Lyme disease identification can help you and your family from developing later stage Lyme disease.
What Is Lyme?
Lyme disease is spread to humans by bacteria transmitted by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus), a species of tick native to North America. Humans are most at risk of contracting Lyme disease in the late spring and early summer from blacklegged nymphal ticks.
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?
Symptoms can range in severity and include headache, fever, swollen lymph nodes, chills, fatigue, and a specific skin rash pattern called erythema migrans. If caught early, Lyme disease can often be treated with antibiotics. Advanced, untreated Lyme disease can spread to the heart, joints, and central nervous system, causing symptoms such as severe headaches, arthritis, facial palsy, heart palpitations, inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, nerve pain, and issues with shot-term memory.
What does the telltale erythema migrans rash look like?
The erythema migrans rash (EM) presents on the skin of 70-80% of people infected with Lyme disease. These rashes typically resemble a target or bullseye shape. Three to thirty days after the tick bite, the EM rash appears at the site of the bite and gradually expands in diameter. If you notice a rash resembling a target and live in an area where ticks are common, seek medical attention immediately.
Where is Lyme disease most common in the United States?
Lyme disease is most common in the eastern half of the United States, with most cases occurring in the northeastern quadrant of the country. It is estimated that many people may not realize they have Lyme disease, leading to only 1 in 10 cases of Lyme disease in the United States being reported.
Top States by Incidence of Lyme Disease in 2014
- Pennsylvania: 7,487 cases reported(74,870 actual cases estimated)
- Massachusetts: 5.304 cases reported (53,040 actual cases estimated)
- New York: 3,736 cases reported(37,360 actual cases estimated)
- New Jersey: 3,286 cases reported (32,860 actual cases estimated)
- Connecticut: 2,360 cases reported (23,600 actual cases estimated)
How to Prevent Lyme Disease
The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid being bitten by a tick. Using Tick Control Tubes and smart landscaping practices can help eliminate ticks from your yard and give you the best chance not to get Lyme Disease.