- What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection, spread by the bite of a deer tick.
- Where are infected ticks found?
Infected ticks can be found in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and in New York State as far north as the Adirondack Mountains, as far west as Monroe County, in the Lower Hudson Valley, and on Long Island.
- What do these ticks look like?
In the spring and summer, these ticks are black/brown in color and can be about the size of a dot at the end of a sentence. In fall, the tick is reddish with a black plate on its back and is about the size of a sesame seed.
- How can I avoid being bitten?
- Wear light-colored clothing.
- Tuck long pants into socks and shirts into pants.
- Avoid heavily wooded areas and high grass where ticks are known to inhabit.
- Check yourself for ticks often while outdoors and again after returning home.
- Check pets for ticks.
- Use repellents containing DEET sparingly on clothes, and only on exposed skin.
- What should I do if I am bitten?
Remove the tick with a fine-pointed tweezer, as close to the skin as possible without squeezing its body. Pull steadily and firmly without twisting or turning. Save the tick by placing it in alcohol; it can be identified by the Health Department.
- What are the symptoms of Lyme Disease?
Often, a circular rash appears at the bite site within three days of being bitten. Flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, body aches and chills are also common. Without treatment, facial palsy, heart problems, and nervous system involvement can occur. Months later, chronic arthritis may develop.
- How is Lyme Disease treated?
Lyme Disease is treatable with antibiotics. The earlier treatment begins, the easier it is to prevent long-term problems.