Spring’s coming fast upon us, and we’re ready to get lost in the woods, spend the day at the lake, go fishing, and enjoy all the great outdoors have to offer in the Upper Peninsula. With the warmer weather and nature exploring also comes the possibility of getting bitten by a tick.
Lyme disease comes from the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. If you’re bit, you might find yourself with a fever, headache, or fatigue. A “bulls-eye” skin rash is common, but not present in every case.
Ticks can find their way onto any part of your body and attach themselves. But you’re most likely to find them in the groin, armpits, or scalp. It’s thought that a tick must be attached for up to 48 hours before the Lyme disease can be transmitted to humans.
Humans are most often infected by nymphs, which are tiny, not-yet-grown ticks. They can be difficult to see, and are most active during the spring and summer. Adult ticks are easier to spot, and are usually removed before the Lyme disease is transmitted.
How to Avoid Ticks:
- Ticks are usually close to the ground: wear boots or shoes in heavy brush
- Repellents that contain 30% DEET will offer protection for several hours
- Wear long sleeves and pants, socks, and protective gear when in the woods
- Walk on trails instead of heavy brush
- After an outing in the great outdoors, check your skin thoroughly for ticks: take the time to check your clothes, gear, pets, backpacks, etc.
- Throw your clothes in the dryer on high heat for at least 60 minutes to kill ticks you might have missed
Lyme disease can become very serious, resulting in facial paralysis, arthritis, severe headaches, irregular heart beat, nerve pain, memory problems, and more.
If you suspect you have Lyme disease, contact a primary care provider for proper diagnosis. If your symptoms have become urgent, seek medical attention immediately.
If you need to find a primary care provider, use our online Find a Doctor tool or call 906.228.9440.