May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month here in Maine. We would like to share some information about this disease and what you can do to prevent it.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is carried by Ixodes scapularis (the deer tick). Infection with Lyme disease can occur after a deer tick bite. Most infections occur during the summer months. The most common early symptom of Lyme disease is an expanding red rash (erythema migrans) that occurs at the site of the tick bite within 3-30 days after being bitten. Fever, joint and muscle pains may also occur. Lyme disease is treatable, and the majority of patients recover after receiving appropriate therapy.
If you are out and about this summer, especially hiking in tall grasses or woods, or if you have outdoor pets, you may be at risk for a tick bite. There are some ways you can lower your risk, and you should discuss any tick bites with your health care provider right away. Please see the link below for a list of ways to prevent tick bites, and how to handle bites if they occur. Stay safe this summer, and have fun!