Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease caused by bacteria, with the summer months already here I felt everyone should review the topic of Lyme disease and prevention.

The highest incidences are in children aged 5 to 9 years, as well as middle-aged adults 45 to 54 years old. The bacteria that cause Lyme disease are transmitted by bites of DEER ticks that carry the bacteria. Deer ticks are no bigger than a poppy seed.

The infections frequently occur in people who are camping, hiking, or participating in other outdoor activities in the summer and fall.

In the United States. Most cases of Lyme disease have occurred in the northeast part of the country, from southern Maine to northern Virginia, which includes us in Long Island.

 

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

In the early stages of Lyme disease, your child may develop a distinctive circular red rash called erythema migrans at the site where the tick has bitten her. This rash will appear after an incubation period 7 to 14 days. The rash tends to be surrounded by a light ring or halo. Some people have described it as having a bull’s eye-like appearance. It can be warm to the touch and in some people, it may itch or burn. Most people, however, will not feel anything out of the ordinary. The rash may grow in size over a period of days or weeks. Along with the rash, your child can develop other symptoms, many of them flu like, that may include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Mild neck stiffness
  • Muscle and joint aches

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

If you find a tick on your child’s skin or clothing, remove it promptly and carefully. Ticks must be attached to the skin for at least 36 hours before they can transmit the Lyme disease bacteria.

  • Use a cotton ball soaked in alcohol to gently clean the area of the skin around the tick bite.
  • Next, grab the tick with fine tweezers as close to the skin as possible and slowly pull it straight back. Do not use twisting motion and try not to squeeze the ticks body. If you use your fingers to get rid of the tick, protect them with a tissue, cloth, or gloves and then wash your hands once the tick is removed. Once removed, put the tick in a small ziplock bag and close.
  • Cleanse your child’s bitten area with alcohol or another first – aid ointment.

WHEN TO CALL US

Contact us if you suspect that your child has been bitten by a tick and she develops the rash or other findings associated with Lyme disease.