Preventing Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is caused by a bite from a tick, typically a deer tick, infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease is easily preventable and can be treated with antibiotics if identified early. Use the following tips to protect yourself from Lyme disease.

• Be aware of tick habitat. Ticks prefer bushes, tall grasses, woods and yards.

• Wear a repellant that is effective against ticks, containing up to 30 percent DEET, or Permethrin can be used to pre-treat fabric and can protect against tick bites for at least two weeks.

• Wear light-colored clothing to spot ticks more easily and long sleeved shirts, long pants, hats, and socks when traveling through tick habitats. Ticks will move upwards and try to find exposed skin, so check clothing regularly for wandering ticks.

• Examine yourself for ticks frequently when you are in tick habitats. Ticks can be very small and often latch on to your body in hard to see areas. Examine your clothing and gear for ticks also. Ticks can move off of these items and attach to you at a later time if they are not caught.

Source: Western Upper Peninsula Health Department