Lyme Disease BY Madeleine Ruth norman

Lyme Disease, also known as Borrelia burgdorferi is an arthropod vector. Lyme disease is transmitted through a tick bite from a Blacklegged Tick, also known as Deer Ticks. There are three stages in this tick's lifespan. The stages are larva, nymph, and then adult. The tick feeds on prey (human or animal) in each of these stages and has the ability to contract the Lyme disease bacteria and then transmit it the next time they feed.

A Blacklegged Tick

These ticks are prevalent in over 80 countries in the world, but only certain parts of the United States. The tick prefers tall grassy lands or low tree branches. When feeding on animals or humans, it goes toward warm, hairy areas of the body. It is the size of a poppy seed, going undetected by many when bitten. This tick prefers the temperature conditions between March and November, but can be found year-round if the temperature is above 35*. These ticks can survive up to 2 years before they die.

Signs and Symptoms: When bitten, one can contract Lyme disease and possibly other tick diseases. However, the most prevalent transmission is Lyme disease, causing fever, headache, fatigue, and skin rashes. The disease also can cause severe joint pain, reproductive irregularities or the inability to reproduce, seizures, headaches, loss of mental stability, sweating, and chills.

Though there can be major side-effects from being bitten by a Deer Tick, Lyme Disease has rarely been connected to deaths. A study done by the CDC stated there were only about 26 charted deaths connected to Lyme Disease in the US, between 2002 and 2007. Compared to some bites, this is a low rate.

Prevention: One can apply pesticides (a substance used to destroy insects or organisms harmful to plants and animals), to the body in order to limit the tick's habitat. One can also used insect repellents to prevent the possibility of ticks biting. Also, be vigilant of your environment... if you have to pee in the forest... be careful and make sure to do a body check afterwards. In general, it is better to stay on clear paths rather than venture into really grassy areas, because that is where ticks live.

Treatment/Cure: There is no guarantee one can be "cured" from Lyme disease, most people suffer through this disease for the rest of their lives. However, there are ways to care for/treat Lyme disease. One can remove the tick upon immediate contact and limit the amount of disease injected into their bodies. One can also be treated to a certain extent by antibiotics. At some point, if not addressed, the Lyme disease can get to a point where it is not possible to be treated.

AVOID TICKS! Do body checks and if you find a tick, remove it immediately!


Created with images by loarie - "western blacklegged tick Ixodes pacificus" • adwsocial - "Deer tick life stages" • The NYSIPM Image Gallery - "Tick Habitat" • The NYSIPM Image Gallery - "Tick Habitat" • KitAy - "Tick Bite" • JeepersMedia - "Off! Mosquito and Tick Bug Insect Repellent" • Chilanga Cement - "2014_148" • JerzyGorecki - "tick macro closeup"

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