DE, PA, NJ, MD & VA High Risk For Lyme Disease
Tick Warning! You are In a High Risk Area for Lyme Disease!
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and can be transmitted to humans by infected blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne disease in the United States. Maryland, Delaware and Northern Virginia,as well as most of New England, are home to the highest rates of infection.
Most (about 98%) Lyme disease cases are associated with the bite of the nymphal stage of the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis), of which 10 - 36% may be infected with Lyme disease spirochetes. Nymphalblacklegged ticks are very small (about the size of a pinhead), difficult to spot, and are active during the late spring and summer months. Adult blacklegged ticks are active in the fall, warmer days in the winter. They are larger, easier to spot, and therefore associated with fewer cases of Lyme disease (though infection rates are higher)
EACH INDIVIDUAL IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TAKING PRECAUTIONS TO REDUCE THE LIKELIHOOD OF INFECTION, SUCH AS:
- Wear light - colored, tight - weave, long - sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, close - toed shoes, and hat.
- Apply 20 - 40% DEET or other tick repellent (e.g., Repel - Lemon eucalyptus) to exposed skin or clothing - but not to under clothing. Reapply as directed.
- Apply permethrin insecticide to clothing (if not already using DEET on clothing)-but DO NOT APPLY TO SKIN. Apply especially to shoe tops, socks, and lower portion of pants. One application of permethrin typically stays effective through several washings.
- Tuck pant legs into sock or boot tops to help delay ticks from getting to skin and biting.
- When you get back from the field, carefully inspect the entire body and remove any attached ticks
(see instructions below).Immature ticks are very small and may be hard to see-remember to check your hair, underarms, and groin for ticks. Most people are unaware that they have an attached tick without a careful check.
- Remove, wash, and dry your clothing. Unattached ticks brought in on clothing can potentially result in a
later tick bite. Blacklegged ticks can survive for many days if humidity is above 65%, and can also survive a warm or hot water wash, but they cannot withstand one hour in a hot dryer.
- Take a hot shower - wash off DEET with soap and water and re-check for ticks.
Removing an attached tick:
Prompt removal of an attached tick will reduce the chance of infection. The probability of transmission of Lyme disease spirochetes increases the longer an infected tick is attached. It takes 36-48 hours or more for transmission of Lyme to occur from an attached tick and not all ticks are infected. Therefore, a tick bite does not necessarily mean a person will get infected.
Remove the tick using thin-tipped tweezers or forceps to grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible. Pull the tick straight upward with steady even pressure.
This should remove the tick with the mouthparts intact. Don’t attempt to smother the tick with petroleum jelly, or nail polish.
The information on this page is from Centers for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov and Occupational Safety and Health Administration www.osha.gov.