Taking a look at what Lyme disease is

Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 7:07 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -A stroll outside and being bitten by a tick could lead to a major health problem, Lyme disease. Megan Cole takes a look at the disease and the symptoms.

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by a bite from an infected black legged or deer tick. People with Lyme disease may react differently and according to Samantha Paradis, a family nurse practitioner with Northern Light AR Gould hospital, symptoms may vary.

“If you feel like you have the flu there’s a rash, fever, joint and heart problems and people can get Lyme disease after being bitten by a tick and when certain types of ticks bite you they can transmit the germ that causes Lyme disease that enters your body and these ticks feed on deer and mice and they may be only about the size of a poppy seed which is why it’s easily spread.”

Paradis says that last year, there was about a 50% drop in confirmed cases of Lyme disease in the state.

“The number from 2019 in Maine was 2, 167 and then last year we saw 1,115 cases which is about a 50% drop and it was likely the result of the devastative population of the disease carrying ticks which was related to that dry weather and also that the pandemic may have kept people from seeking care.”

She adds that there are ways to prevent yourself from being at risk of contracting the disease.

“Some of those things can include wearing shoes, wearing long sleeve shirts long pants when you’re outside those can keep ticks away from your skin by keeping your skin covered but also thinking about tucking pants into socks, those sorts of things. Wearing light colors can be helpful because ticks are less likely to be unspotted so if you wear lights color you can see if there is a tick on your clothing.”

If you have been recently bitten by a tick and are concern about the possibility of Lyme disease, contact your provider.

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