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Lyme Disease: Prevention and Control — Outdoor Hazards and Preventive Measures
Lyme disease is the leading cause of tick-borne infectious illness in the U.S. with about 16,000 cases reported annually. In the United States, Lyme disease is mostly localized to states in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and upper north-central regions and to several counties in northwestern California. In 1999, 16,273 cases of Lyme disease were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Ninety-two percent of these were from the states of Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin.
Signs and Symptoms
Tips to Protect Campersand Staff
• Wear light-colored clothing so that ticks can be spotted more easily and removed before becoming attached.
The American Lyme Disease Foundation recommends:
• scanning clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors;
Steps for Tick Removal
The American Lyme Disease Foundation reports that infected ticks begin transmitting Lyme disease an average of thirty-six- to forty-eight hours after attachment. Chances of contracting Lyme disease are greatly reduced if the tick is removed within the first twenty-four hours. The majority of early Lyme disease cases are easily treated and cured.
To remove a tick, follow these steps:
*Keep in mind that certain types of fine-pointed tweezers, especially those that are etched, or rasped, at the tips, may not be effective in removing nymphal deer ticks. Choose unrasped fine-pointed tweezers whose tips align tightly when pressed firmly together.
Originally published in the 2003 March/April issue of Camping Magazine.