Amber Butler; Lyme Researcher, Western Connecticut Health Network’s Lyme Registry
Ridgefield Health Department has a great take-home message:
- Bathe or shower within 2 hours of being outdoors
- Look for ticks on your body after being outdoors
Apply repellent—repellents with at least 20% DEET for skin and/or permethrin for clothing
- Spray your yard
- Treat your pets (people can’t catch Lyme disease from an infected pet but certainly ticks can brush off of pets onto people)
To remove a tick
Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. Pull straight out without jerking or twisting. Wash the area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Do NOT use any other methods, including those that promote the use of heat, petroleum jelly, etc. to make the tick detach on its own. Ticks must generally be attached for at least 24 hours before they can transmit Lyme disease so early removal is key.
Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease
Early signs and symptoms may include a rash (that may or may not have a bull’s-eye appearance but that typically expands over time), fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle/joint pain. If left untreated, signs and symptoms may progress to joint swelling, Bell’s palsy (loss of muscle tone in one or both sides of the face), neurologic effects such as numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, and cardiac effects.
Ongoing Lyme disease studies at WCHN (Western CT Health Networks)
Our Lyme Disease Registry is designed to gain a better understanding of the disease and its course of symptoms. Ultimately we hope to lead to better diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Anyone aged 5 and older who has ever been diagnosed with Lyme disease by a healthcare provider may be eligible to participate. We also have a study seeking patients with erythema migrans (the rash that may be associated with Lyme) to investigate a potential new diagnostic test for the disease.
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE LYME STUDIES:
203.739.8383 or firstname.lastname@example.org