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May Is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, Watch For Ticks


May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Lyme disease is a concern in northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, and can cause a variety of flu-like symptoms.

Lyme disease is an acute inflammatory disease caused by the bite of a tick infected with a bacteria, and is spread through the bite of ticks.

Oneida County Community Health Specialist, Corie Zelazoski says people who leave their symptoms go and not get treatment can get very ill...

"....if you left Lyme disease untreated, it can spread to the joints, the heart and nervous system. It's diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks....."

First symptoms are usually flu-like and include fatigue, tiredness, joint and muscle pain, and also a characteristic rash. Late symptoms can take much longer to develop: weeks, months or even years. Late symptoms may include fatigue, mental health issues, the condition arthritis and other problems. n the United States over the last few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of reported cases of Lyme disease.

Zelazoski says there are ways to lower your chance of being bitten...

".....you should use insect repellant that uses 20-30 percent DEET. You should wear clothing that covers your body and upon returning, take a shower as soon as you can. Check your body. Ticks can hide under the armpits, behind the knees, hair, groin area. Put your clothes in the dryer at high heat for 60 minutes to kill remaining ticks..."

Zelazoski says while the symptoms mimic the flu, there is often a characteristic rash that is unique to Lyme Disease. Officials say tell your medical service provider about your possible exposure to ticks.

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