Lyme Disease Basics
Lyme disease, or Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia. In North America, Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii are the typical cause of Lyme disease. In Europe and Asia, Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garini are the typical cause of Lyme disease. The bacteria is spread to humans via the bite of an infected tick, a deer tick or black legged tick.
Individuals can be exposed to a tick any time of year, but ticks are typically most active in the warmer months, April through September. Their preferred habitat includes grassy, bushy, and wooded areas. Ticks may even be in an individual’s own backyard.
The CDC suggests the following tips to help prevent being bitten by a tick:
If an individual finds a tick attached to themselves, another family member or their pet, it’s important to remove it safely and as quickly as possible.
Follow these steps to safely remove a tick:
The longer a tick is attached, the higher the chances are that the tick may transmit lyme disease to an individual. It is not common for lyme disease to be transmitted in cases where the tick is attached for less than 24 hours, but the risk is not zero.
Yes, it’s a good idea to save a tick that was found attached to an individual. It is possible to have a doctor send the tick to a lab to test for Borrelia or other tick-borne diseases.