CDPHP Urges Prevention, Detection and Treatment of Lyme Disease

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Cases of Lyme disease are on the rise in the Northeast. CDPHP is offering tips on how to prevent, detect and treat the tick-borne illness.

How to safely remove a tick.

If you think you've been bitten by a deer tick, know the signs of Lyme disease and see your doctor if you develop symptoms," said Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, medical director, CDPHP.

With warmer weather on the way, CDPHP is reminding people about the prevention, detection and treatment of Lyme disease. The disease is spread through the bite of an infected backlegged tick (or deer tick), which have becoming increasingly prevalent throughout New York state.

“Just as hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of flu during winter months, it’s critical that local residents take steps to protect themselves against Lyme disease in spring, summer, and fall,” said Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, medical director, CDPHP. “If you think you’ve been bitten by a deer tick, know the signs of Lyme disease and see your primary care doctor if you develop any of these symptoms,” added Whalen.

Prevention: The best way to protect you and your family from getting Lyme disease is by reducing your exposure to deer ticks.

  •     Image to right: All four stages of a deer tick with dime for size comparison.
  •     Be extra vigilant in warmer months (April-September) when ticks are most active
  •     Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass
  •     Use repellent that contain at least 20% DEET
  •     Bathe as soon as possible after coming inside
  •     Conduct a full body tick check, using a full length mirror
  •     Examine gear and pets for ticks

Detection: The most common symptoms of Lyme disease include:

  •     A rash, resembling a bulls eye or solid red patch, 2-6 inches in diameter
  •     Fever/chills
  •     Aches and pains

Treatment: If you find a tick attached to your skin, follow the below method to remove the tick:

  •     Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.
  •     Pull upward with steady, 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 bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
  •     If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks, see your doctor.

About CDPHP®
Established in 1984, CDPHP is a physician-founded, member-focused and community-based not-for-profit health plan that offers high-quality affordable health insurance plans to members in 24 counties throughout New York. CDPHP is also on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

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Ali Skinner
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