BALTIMORE, Md. (PRWEB) June 09, 2012
The recent mild winter, which left deer ticks alive, hungry and looking for food, can create optimal conditions for the transmission of Lyme disease. In the United States, 82 tick species collectively can cause nine major diseases, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians, with Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease the most common.
The VA Maryland Health Care System offers the following tips to protect yourself, your family and your pets from Lyme disease when you step outside this summer. “Those who contract Lyme disease don’t know they have it since the tell-tale ‘bulls-eye’ rash may not always appear, and it is difficult to diagnose because the bacteria is known as a great masquerader,” said Dr. Martin Garcia-Bunuel, deputy director of Managed Care and a primary care physician at the VA Maryland Health Care System. The risk of being bitten by an infected tick is greatest in summer, especially in May and June, and people are just as likely to contract it in their backyards then hiking in the woods. Many tick-related diseases have symptoms similar to the flu, including high fever, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
Around Your Home:
After a Tick Bite:
If a tick bites, remove it using fine tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the surface of the skin as possible. Do not use your fingers. Pull firmly but gently, and do not jerk or twist. Be careful not to puncture the body of the tick since its fluids may contain infectious agents. Do not use chemicals like nail polish remover, liquid soap, oils, or by heating it with a match, which can kill the tick before it disengages its mouth parts, causing the tick to regurgitate it contents into the wound and increasing the likelihood of transmitting a number of diseases.
Veterans should contact the Telephone Care Line for the VA Maryland Health Care System at 1-800-865-2441, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for medical advice.
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The VA Maryland Health Care System (VAMHCS) provides a broad spectrum of medical, surgical, rehabilitative, mental health and outpatient care to veterans at two medical centers, one community living & rehabilitation center and five outpatient clinics located throughout the state. More than 52,000 veterans from various generations receive care from the VAMHCS annually. Nationally recognized for its state-of-the-art technology and quality patient care, the VAMHCS is proud of its reputation as a leader in veterans’ health care, research and education. It costs nothing for Veterans to enroll for health care with the VA Maryland Health Care System and it could be one of the more important things a Veteran can do. For information about VA health care eligibility and enrollment or how to apply for a VA medical care hardship to avoid future copayments for VA health care, interested Veterans are urged to call the Enrollment Center for the VA Maryland Health Care System, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1-800-463-6295, ext. 7324 or visit http://www.maryland.va.gov.