As summer approaches, spending time outdoors becomes more common, especially in the northeast. However, it’s crucial to be mindful of the risk of Lyme disease and check for ticks after enjoying outdoor activities. Read more to learn about what to do if you’ve been exposed!
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is transmitted by infected ticks. It can be common for ticks to latch onto your clothes or skin when walking through brush, tall grass, or the woods. If a tick bites you and becomes attached for a long period of time, you can become infected.
There are only certain types of ticks that transmit Lyme disease, so if you have any doubt, snap a photo and send it to your Radish doctor. If you find a tick that you think may have been latched on for an extended period of time (more than 24 hours), you may qualify for treatment with a single dose of antibiotics to prevent developing Lyme disease.
Lyme disease usually starts with a classic “bulls-eye” rash at the bite. Other symptoms can include fatigue, joint pain, headaches, and swollen lymph nodes, and sometimes these may take weeks to develop. If left untreated, Lyme can cause more serious symptoms such as joint swelling, muscle pain, heart issues, and neurological symptoms.
If you think you may have been exposed to Lyme, you can get blood testing to confirm. Blood tests measure your immune response to the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, so in case your immune response is low the first few weeks after exposure, your doctor may have you get multiple tests several weeks apart to confirm the results.
There are many steps you can take to help avoid getting bitten by ticks and reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease.
Understanding Lyme disease and taking necessary precautions will help ensure your safety while enjoying the outdoors. Remember, not all ticks carry Lyme disease, but it’s important to monitor for symptoms if you’ve been bitten and reach out to your Radish doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Stay cool!
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