Lyme Disease is on the rise in Northern Virginia and doctors say it is key to know how to prevent contraction.
Lyme Disease is caused by a bacteria infection transmitted to humans by black-legged ticks, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
We see a lot more cases of tick bites and Lyme Disease in the summer, when more people have their skin exposed and are spending more time with outdoor activities, Gainesville immunologist Dr. Srinagesh Paluvoi. Prevention of Lyme Disease is key, knowing what to look for, and more importantly, how to prevent the initial tick bite.
Here are 10 ways Paluvoi said can prevent the contraction of Lyme Disease.
Anyone who thinks they may have been expoused to Lyme Disease should contact a doctor.
- Be cautious in wooded areas,bushes and grass, especially during late spring and mid-summer when ticks are most active
- Wear extra protective clothing if hiking in overgrown trails.
- Wear light-colored clothes, doing so makes it easier to spot ticks on the body.
- Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks which should be tucked into pants.
- Use tick repellant. The CDC recommends using an insect repellent that's comprised of 20 to 30 percent DEET. Repeat application as needed.
- Check for ticks on clothes before going indoors and wash and dry clothing using high heat levels.
- Check your skin for ticks. Do a fully body check, including the groin, arm-pits and head. Have a second person inspect your back.
- Use tweezers to remove any ticks
- Contact your physician after being bitten by a tick to see if antibiotic are necessary.
- Wash your hair, face and hands as often. Washing soon after exposure will help the ticks fall off quicker.