If you have a bulls-eye rash and possibly a fever, headache or muscle pain, then you may have Lyme Disease. Believe it or not, it’s said to be caused by a mouse, but not like you would think.
The mouse has Borrelia burgdorferi (boar-ELL-ee-uh burg-dorf-ERR-eye) and is bitten by a tick that then bites you. These ticks are very small and very hard to see.
What is Lyme disease?
The Bulls eye rash that appears around 7 to 14 days doesn’t always happen and some people can still have the flu like symptoms that can come with Lyme disease.
It is important to get medical attention and without it, the bacteria can makes its way into the entire body that could cause rashes that appear in areas never bitten by the tic. If not treated, pain, swelling and mood changes can occur months after being bitten!
Preventing Lyme Disease
- Avoid entering areas that are home to ticks in the spring and summer months.
- If you are in a tick infested area, wear clothing that is lightly colored which will help you spot ticks. Also, make sure your entire body is clothed and that skin is not exposed.
- Bug spray that contains DEET (n,n-diethyl-m-toluamide) can be applied to clothes and exposed skin.
- You can use Permethrin on cloths which kills tics dead (and fast) but make sure not to come in contact with skin.
The photo to the left is of the Ixodes Tick which is classified as a hard tick, due to the presence of a dorsal plate.
If you find a tick embedded into your skin, use teasers and pull straight out. Be sure not to twist as you pull or part of the tick’s body could end up inside your skin and cause an infection. After you have removed the tick, clean the area with antiseptic.
Ticks love foliage such as leaf piles (I know, children love to play in them, but so do ticks!). They can also be found in piles of wood, such as those we use for fire, etc.
If you discover a tic embedded in your skin, make sure to watch that area and be area of flu-like symptoms. If you think you may have Lyme disease, let your doctor know and they’ll be able to tell you for sure.