July 2013

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Just the Facts: Tick Bites and Lyme Disease Doctor Mom's stay-cool approach to finding the dreaded summer tick By Dr. Kari Hegeman Summer brings fears of deer ticks and Lyme disease, and many health officials are already reporting that warm and moist weather could make this a banner year for ticks. Here's what you need to know. Deer ticks are carried by deer and mice, and can even attach to pets and be brought into the home on their backs. The tick that causes Lyme disease takes at least 24 hours to attach and begin feeding. Then it must remain fully attached for 48 to 72 hours to pass the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. If the tick is removed before the engorgement phase, the chance of developing Lyme disease is greatly reduced. So what do you do when you find a tick on you child? Remove it with tweezers: firmly grasp the body and pull straight away without twisting. Then put the tick in a container for identification. Note its color, markings and size. Look, also, at the site of the tick bite. Erythema migrans—a rash—occurs in 89 percent of Lyme disease transmission and appears as a red, oval to round shape, sometimes targetoid ("bullseye") lesion. This rash may itch or burn, and usually expands and becomes more red, sometimes developing rings, over the ensuing days to weeks. If you're concerned about Lyme disease, blood tests done two to three weeks after a tick bite are the best indicator. If positive, your doctor is likely to suggest antibiotics. It is a common myth that antibiotics must be given early to treat Lyme disease effectively. Truth is, late-detected Lyme disease is also treatable with antibiotics. That said, prevention remains the safest bet. When heading outdoors, encourage kids to wear long sleeves and pants tucked into socks in light colors, which makes it easier to spot ticks. Bug repellents with DEET or picaridin can also be effective, but should be washed off before bed. Use baths or showers for skin inspection, looking especially at armpits, groin, waistband, backs of knees and scalp—sites ticks like. Dr. Kari Hegeman is a pediatrician at Dean Clinic and mother of seven. BUGGED BY MOSQUITOES? Call the Mosquito Magicians and the outdoors is yours! Mosquito Magicians provide family-safe mosquito control. Offering special event services or season long packages to safely eliminate mosquitoes. 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED! OUTDOORS IS YOURS! 5518 County Road CV, Madison Contact us at (608) 520-0BUG or July 2013 13

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