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Safety Nugget Week of August 6 - How to Determine the Risk of Lyme Disease Infection from Ticks< Back to Blog

Aug 06, 2018
By: K. McCarley
Categories: Safety



Determine the Risk of Infection from Ticks

Diseases spread by ticks can be very serious and often have chronic health problems.  Lyme disease in particular can cause a lifetime of neurological problems, pain in the joints and issues with your heart.  However, many of these diseases can be treated if identified at an early stage, within the first few weeks. 

A few facts about Lyme Disease:

  • Ticks bite millions of Americans each year, but only 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported
  • The chance of catching Lyme disease from an individual tick ranges from zero to roughly 50 percent
  • Only two species of tick transmit Lyme disease
    • The blacklegged often referred to as the deer tick, is found throughout the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains.
    • The Western blacklegged tick is found west of the Rockies.

  • If you've been bitten by something other than a blacklegged tick, you can stop worrying about Lyme. But you may be at risk for other, less common infections, like Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
  • Where you live determines how many blacklegged ticks are carrying Lyme.
    • A recent study found that in the Northeast and Upper Midwest, up to 50 percent of blacklegged ticks are infected. But in the South and West, infection rates are usually less than 10 percent.
  • The probability that it [Lyme disease] is transmitted to you ... depends on the length of feeding.
    • In most cases ticks must be attached for 24 to 48 hours before transmission of Lyme disease occurs.

What you can do:

  • Submit photographs and information about his case to Tick Encounter. Within 24 hours, a specialist informs you whether this case poses a high risk of Lyme disease.
  • As a precaution, go to a doctor to discuss an antibiotic regimen
  • Send the yick to a lab to be tested for a fee. 



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