Warm weather is quickly approaching, and tick season is following close behind. Considering that Lyme disease has the ability to debilitate you and/or kill you, the fact that it is the fastest growing vector borne illness in North America means it is absolutely imperative for families everywhere to become aware and educated on the topic to protect themselves. So, take a few minutes to read a few wise tips to aid you in doing so. Taking a few minutes to get educated over spending every minute for the rest of your life in torturous pain and agony from Lyme? Sounds like a bargain to me!
Lyme disease is most prevalent during the spring and summer months -which is why May is designated as "Lyme Disease Awareness Month." The rate of infections is rapidly increasing, with numbers of infected people in the US are higher than ever before. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have pegged Lyme disease as a “tremendous” public health problem infecting 300,000 people every year -10 times more than any other year.
Bob Oley, a tick-borne disease prevention expert and the Public Health Consultant for more than 30 years for the non-profit agency called the "Tick-Borne Disease Alliance" (www.TBDAlliance.org) was kind enough to share the following Lyme disease prevention tips with us:
- Wear clothing that is treated with Permethrin. This is one of the easiest things to do with big prevention payoffs. Don’t forget to also spray your outside shoe wear, backpacks and other outdoor activities. You can purchase Permethrin at any major pharmacy or mega store.
- Apply a tick repellent on your exposed skin. You can buy insect repellents with chemicals such as IR3535, Picaridin, and DEET, or if you prefer using organic products, try essential oils like Lemon Eucalyptus Oil or Cedar Oil.
- Keep your outdoor clothing outside of your home. All other clothes should be put immediately into the clothes dryer on high heat for 20-30 minutes. The dry heat will effectively kill any ticks that may have latched themselves on your clothing.
- Conduct full body tick checks of family members who go outside, both when they return indoors, as well as at night before they go to bed. Be sure to check some areas you are more likely to find ticks; between your toes, behind your knees, in the navel, on your back and behind your ears. This is particularly important for children.