VALHALLA, N.Y. -- When spending time outdoors this summer, it seems almost unavoidable that ticks will attach themselves to pants, socks and clothes. However, sometimes these pests find skin, and when they do, an array of medical problems can soon follow.
Most common of tick-borne illnesses is Lyme disease. Carried by deer ticks, Lyme can cause flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, muscle aching and nausea in those bitten by a contaminated tick. In more extreme cases, facial drooping and neurological disorders may also develop. If left untreated or misdiagnosed, Lyme disease can cause symptoms to become chronic, and make daily life difficult.
In order to prevent contracting the disease, following the CDC’s guidelines on preventing tick bites is an important first step, said Dr. Gary P. Wormser, chief of Infectious Diseases at Westchester Medical Center, the flagship of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network. Using DEET repellant and conducting full-body tick checks after being outdoors are simple yet effective ways to prevent and identify tick bites.
If a tick is discovered, remove it with tweezers immediately and bring it to a doctor or diagnosis center for testing. “Bring the tick with you,” said Wormser. “If warranted, we will provide you with an antibiotic to help prevent Lyme disease.”
To learn more about how to prevent Lyme disease, click here.