Prevention of Lyme Disease
by Dobie Peter
There are three aspects to prevention of Lyme disease
1) Avoid getting bitten by ticks
2) Remove the tick prompty, but in the correct manner, if you get a tickbite.
3) See a Lyme specialist doctor and get started on antibiotics if you develop early symptoms of Lyme disease.
Early symptoms of Lyme disease, usually in the first week after a tickbite, are headache, neck stiffness, fever, fatigue, and muscle and joint pains. Some patients also get a characteristic skin rash called a “bulls-eye” rash.
With proper precautions, Lyme disease can be easily avoided. Here are a few tips:
- If you go hiking or walking on grassy or wooded areas, wear long pants instead of shorts and tuck the pants into your socks. Your clothes should be tight at the waist, wrists and ankles.
- If you are working in a garden for long periods of time or your work site is near bushes, take a precautionary medical check-up to detect any symptoms.
- Never use your bare hands to remove ticks. Instead use a tool like tweezers. Wear gloves if removing with your fingers & wash your hands thoroughly after removal. By failing to do this there is a high chance of being infected.
- You should give extra attention every day to hairy parts of your body because ticks generally attach to these areas. The scalp should also be washed properly.
- Lyme disease in Australia is quite widespread & considered to be an epidemic. Places like marshes, gardens, high grasses and beaches should be avoided. Do not spend time in tick infested surroundings or habitats. If possible, cut down your recreational activities like camping, hiking, forestry, landscaping and other activities closely related to nature.
- At the end of your daily activities in dense bushes or garden areas, remove all your clothes and properly search for any sign of the disease.
- Minimise the chance of infection by using repellents on skin & clothes and by covering your body with high quality guarding clothes. If using repellents on skin, you should wash your body with soap and water at the end of the day. There are a number of sprays available which can be sprayed on clothes and act as tick and insect repellent.
- It is highly recommended that you remove things like woodpiles and leaf litter where ticks may develop. Keep your garden grass mowed and clear excess bushes. By using pesticides, you can kill ticks in large numbers.
If you need to find a specialist Lyme disease doctor you can search online. Sydney is home to some of the most reputed doctors who can deal with Lyme disease effectively. There is a vaccine available which is meant for people between the ages of 16 to 70 years. This vaccine is considered to be safe and effective for Lyme disease.