Ticks and Lyme Disease: Safety Topics - May 2018 - Week 3


Monday - Ticks and Lyme Disease

If you’ve ever worked with cattle or spent time on a farm, you might have noticed ticks on some of the animals. Ticks are very common to unvaccinated animals and can spread disease. This week’s safety topic is a reminded to watch yourself when working outdoors and with animals to prevent the spread of ticks and disease!

What is Lyme Disease?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease is an infectious disease that can be transmitted to humans through tick bites. In the next few days we will discuss symptoms of Lyme Disease and how you can treat and prevent it.

Tuesday - Signs and Symptoms of Untreated Lyme Disease

Early Symptoms:

  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes.

The Bullseye Rash: (Erythema Migraines)

  • Present in 70-80% of infections
  • Begins seven days after bite
  • Expands gradually and reaches up twelve inches
  • Affected area may be warm, itchy, or painful
  • May appear on any area of the body 

Later Symptoms:

  • Headache and neck stiffness
  • Rash
  • Thirst, joint pain, and swelling
  • Facial palsy, loss of muscle tone, or facial drooping 
  • Pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
  • Heart palpitations or irregular beats 
  • Dizziness or shortness in breath
  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
  • Nerve pain 
  • Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in hands and feet 
  • Short term memory loss

Wednesday – Tick Removal

  • Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skins surface as possible
  • Pull upward with steady and even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  • After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
  • Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container and wrapping it tightly with tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.

Thursday – Treatment

People who are treated with the right antibiotics in the early stages of the disease usually recover rapidly and completely. Lyme Disease is typically treated orally but if it is severe, it may need to be treated intravenously. 

The infection is usually treated with antibiotics and the affected person recovers quickly; however, more severe cases can take up to 6 months to fully recover completely. The sooner you get treatment the better, as this will speed up recovery and treatment time.

Friday - Free Speech Friday

Have you or someone you know ever been infected with Lyme Disease? How long was your recovery time? Do you have any tips on what others should look out for?

Tags: safety topics , health and wellness , environmental ,

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