Tick Illness/Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease is an illness caused by the bacteria Borrelia Burgodorferi that is spread by the bite of an infected tick. People at the highest risk for Lyme Disease are:
The best way to avoid Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses is to avoid contact with ticks by doing the following:
To properly remove a tick follow these instructions:
Using tweezers, grab the tick at its mouth and using firm steady pressure pull the tick out. Using a tick spoon: line the notch up with the base of the tick and gently scoop. Avoid crushing the tick’s body because its bodily fluids may be harmful. Also, do not use petroleum jelly, hot matches, nail polish remover or any other substance to remove the tick. Using those items could increase the risk of infection.
Use of antibiotics after a known tick bite is not routinely recommended, but may be considered under very specific circumstances (e.g. tick has been identified as a deer tick, was attached for more than 24 hrs. antibiotics can be started within 72 hrs., and there is a high rate of infected ticks in the local area).
Ticks generally need to be attached for 24-48 hours before they can give you Lyme disease
You can have a tick identified by sending it to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Tick ID Lab. For specific instructions on how to submit a tick please visit UMaine Cooperative Extension’s website: http://extension.umaine.edu/ipm/tickid/
For more information contact your healthcare provider or local health center. You can also contact Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention by calling 1-800-821-5821 or visiting the website http://maine.gov/idepi. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website - http://www.cdc.gov – is another excellent source of health information.