Preventing lyme disease means catching tick bites early

Daybreak

It's tick season -- here's how to keep them off in the first place or catch them early if they bite you

(WYTV) – If you’re spending more time outdoors, like many have been during this pandemic, don’t forget to watch out for ticks.

Ticks, which can give you lyme disease, are most active during the warmer months.

If you do find a tick on your skin, use a pair of tweezers to remove it — but be careful not to squeeze it. Squeezing it could cause bacteria from the tick to go into the bite wound.

“If you check yourself after every time you are outside and you see it early on, you’re unlikely to contract any illness from it because, particularly lyme disease, the tick needs to be attached almost 36 hours before it infects you,” said Dr. Alan Taege, with the Cleveland Clinic.

But you want to keep those little critters off of you to begin with. To do that, use tick repellent or bug spray that has deet in it. Wear light-colored clothing so it’s easier to spot a tick on your clothes. It’s also a good idea to wear long sleeves and pants — the less skin that’s exposed, the better.

If you start to notice any symptoms — which could include a rash, often with a bullseye pattern — talk to your doctor right away.

Lyme disease can cause extreme joint pain. It can paralyze part of your face and even give you hepatitis.

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