There is an epidemic occurring around the world. Lyme disease is the fastest growing infectious disease and most common vector-borne illness in Canada and United States. It is often misunderstood, misdiagnosed and mistreated.
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi which is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected black-legged (Ixodes scapularis) tick, commonly known as the “deer tick”.
Avril Lavigne’s recent interview about her Lyme disease on Good Morning America was an emotional and inspirational account of her battle that sounds all too familiar with those suffering from chronic Lyme today and who have been consistently misdiagnosed.
Lyme disease is preventable through education and taking the right precautions and spreading the word, you can effectively protect your family from Lyme. The following prevention and tick removal information is provided by Canlyme.com
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid tick-infested areas whenever possible, particularly in spring and early summer when nymph ticks feed. Adult ticks become a bigger threat in the fall. Ticks favour moist, shaded environments; especially leafy wooded areas and overgrown grassy habitats.
Top 5 tick habitat precautions:
- Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Tuck your pants into your socks to prevent ticks from getting inside your pants.
- Apply insect repellent to your skin and clothing, especially at the openings such as ankle, wrist and neck.
- Check your clothes for ticks often. Ticks will climb upwards until they find an area of exposed skin.
- Wear light coloured clothing to make it easier to spot ticks.
- When walking on pathways or trails stay in the center. Avoid low-lying brush or long grass.
Do a full body check when home and throw your clothes right into the dryer for 15 minutes, not the washer where ticks will survive. Ticks are very susceptible to dry heat.
Safe tick removal methods
Tick-Removal Tool/Kit … to order Tick Kit for Proper Removal and for more removal methods go to Canlyme.com
If you already have a pair of fine pointed tweezers, and a steady hand, you can grasp the mouthparts of the tick, NOT the body of the tick, and slowly pull the tick straight out.
After a tick has been removed, it’s important to wash the bite site using soap and water, followed with an antiseptic. If the tick that bit you is a Lyme-carrying species, don’t wait to develop symptoms. Go to your doctor and request antibiotics as a precaution.
If you or someone you know believes they have been misdiagnosed please contact me and I will direct you to an ILADS trained practitioner who can address Chronic Lyme disease, and its co-infections; reactivation of dormant infections, such as viruses, fungal and parasitic infections; and or an immune compromised state which can be further complicated by heavy metal toxicity, chemical toxicities and essential nutritional deficiencies.
To find a Lyme disease support group in your area visit www.lymeontario.com