According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 200,000 cases of Lyme Disease are reported each year, and the numbers are growing.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by bites from “deer” ticks, and officials said being aware of the risks and being cautious are the best ways to prevent any problems.
“If you are going to be in an area that you know has a lot of ticks, then it is important when you come back into the home that you go ahead and bathe and actually even throw your clothes into a dryer, because that will help to get some of the ticks off of the clothes,” said Davis Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Catherine Chua.
Prevention is not always effective. For people diagnosed with Lyme disease, the financial burden of medications does not have to be a hardship. Senate Bill 242 was passed during the legislative session, requiring health providers to cover antibiotic expenses.
Dr. Chua said when removing ticks at home, using gloves is essential and if rashes or flu-like symptoms occur, make sure to consult a doctor.
“The studies actually show that a tick has to be attached to the host for 48 hours or more in order for the disease to be transmitted. So, the best thing you can do is try and remove that tick as soon as possible, if you find one,” said Chua.
Physicians said the best practices in preventing ticks bites is making sure that you are covering yourself when you are outside and doing self-examinations on yourself, your family and pets as many times throughout the spring as possible.