Tuck the shirttail into pants and pant cuffs into Note the date of the bite, watch for symptoms
socks. Stay on paths and trails as much as of Lyme disease and report them to your
possible. Use repellants to keep ticks away. doctor. Don’t use home remedies to remove
Check the body and clothing for ticks at least ticks. Once a tick has become firmly attached to
twice daily and remove all ticks immediately. the skin, use of petroleum jelly, fingernail polish,
The sooner a tick is removed, the less chance kerosene, or a hot match will not dislodge it.
there is for it to transmit disease. Remember that
it takes at least 24 hours of attachment for an
infected tick to transmit the Lyme disease
microbe. Need more information?
Around the home, tick problems usually result Contact your local health department or the
from pets. Control ticks on pets by using a pest
collar and a suitable shampoo, dip, or dust.
Carefully follow label directions when using NC Department of
these products. Pets confined to the backyard Environment and Natural Resources
will not pick up as many ticks as those that roam. Division of Environmental Health
Public Health Pest Management
Where possible, keep grass and brush trimmed
(919) 733- 6407
and remove or burn leaf litter. These are places
where ticks may rest and lay eggs.
removing ticks, NC Department of Health and
use tweezers or Human Services
tissue-covered Division of Public Health
fingers. Fluids General Communicable Disease
å from the tick Control Section
could transmit (919)-733-3419
2. Grab the tick
close to the skin
ç and slowly pull
State of North Carolina
3. Do not twist Department of Environment and Natural Resources
the tick or the Division of Environmental Health
Public Health Pest Management Section
é mouthparts may
be broken off in Department of Health and Human Services
the skin. Division of Public Health
General Communicable Disease Control Branch
Treat the area with an antiseptic product and The Department of Health and Human Services does not
discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex,
wash your hands when finished. religion, age or disability in employment or the provision of
services. (ERC 84) Rev. 8/99
Lyme disease is an illness spread by infected from a different type of animal such as field mice Stage II
ticks. It was first noticed as a problem during the and deer.
One to three months after the tick bite,
1970’s when parents in Lyme, Connecticut and
Not all ticks can transmit Lyme disease bacteria. problems with the nervous or cardiac systems
nearby towns became alarmed by the large
The tick that is the most important carrier of Lyme may develop. These symptoms include facial
number of children with arthritis. While ticks
disease is Ixodes scapularis, commonly called paralysis, meningitis, nerve root inflammation,
were believed to carry the disease, it was not
the black-legged tick. In North Carolina and the and partial heart block. Irritability, sleeplessness,
until 1982 that the microbe for Lyme disease
southeast, the black-legged tick does not seem depression, loss of concentration, and weakness
to carry Lyme disease or bite people. It is still have also been reported.
unclear which tick spreads Lyme disease in
The Cause of Lyme Disease Stage III
One month to two years after the tick bite,
Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a Black-legged ticks are the size of a pin head
arthritis of one or more large joints, such as
corkscrew-shaped bacterium called a before they feed and are so small that people
knees and shoulders, may occur. Affected joints
spirochete. may not know they’ve been bitten. Dogs, horses,
are painful, swollen and red. Without treatment,
and cattle may also be affected by Lyme
joint damage may become permanent.
Where Lyme disease occurs disease, but the disease must be passed by ticks
However, most cases of arthritis are not caused
to infect humans and cannot be caught directly
by Lyme disease.
Lyme disease has been found in most states and from animals.
many foreign countries. In the United States it is
now the most frequently reported disease Diagnosis of Lyme disease
Symptoms of Lyme disease
carried by ticks. It is most common in the A doctor’s diagnosis is based on symptoms,
northeast - Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Lyme disease, like other tick-borne disease, is
patient history, and the results of two blood
York, and New Jersey - where thousands of most likely to occur in the warm weather
tests. Early Lyme disease can be recognized by
cases may occur each summer. Cases also may months. Because the bacteria can attack so many
the presence of EM, but some people with
occur in Wisconsin and Minnesota. However, parts of the body, Lyme disease has been
Lyme disease may not have this rash. The blood
Lyme disease has not been as common in the confused with other ailments. The symptoms
test for Lyme disease may be negative during the
southern states. In North Carolina, less than 100 change with time and can last for years.
cases are found each year. Another disease
transmitted by ticks is Rocky Mountain Spotted
Fever. In 1997 and 1998, approximately equal Lyme disease may appear in three stages: Treatment of Lyme disease
numbers of laboratory-confirmed cases of both Stage 1 Antibiotics are used to treat Lyme disease. The
diseases were reported in North Carolina. earlier Lyme disease is diagnosed, the easier it is
One to four weeks after the tick bite, a red
circular or oblong rash with a clear center called to treat. Advanced stages seldom occur when
Lyme disease transmission the early illness is treated with appropriate
an erythema migrans (EM), often develops at or
antibiotics. Oral antibiotics are effective in the
Lyme disease is a “zoonosis” - a disease that is near the bite. The size of the rash increases and
early stages. In the later stages, intravenous
normally found in animals but sometimes may become more than 12 inches across. It is
not usually painful or itchy, but may be warm antibiotics are sometimes used.
spreads to humans.
when touched. Other similar but smaller rashes
The carriers (or vectors) of Lyme disease are may appear. The rash may last for two to three Prevention of Lyme disease
ticks. Ticks have four stages of growth - eggs, weeks. Headache, fever, muscle aches, tiredness
larva, nymph, and adult. The larva hatches from Fortunately, North Carolina has not had a great
and other flu-like symptoms are also common at
the egg, takes a blood meal and becomes a amount of Lyme disease. The best way to
this time. These early signs of Lyme disease may
nymph. It is usually the nymph which transmits prevent Lyme disease is to avoid tick bites.
disappear, but most people will have other
Lyme disease to humans. The adult female feeds When outdoors in tick-infected areas, wear long-
problems if not treated.
and produces eggs. Each stage may take blood sleeved shirts and long-legged pants. Light
colored clothing allows easier tick detection.