Rapid Lyme Disease Testing
October 9, 2022
Did you know that Lyme Disease is the most common tick borne disease in Vermont, and that Vermont has the highest rate of confirmed Lyme Disease cases in the United States? At Champlain Medical, we diagnose and treat Lyme Disease, and would like to share some of our experience and tips.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. This type of bacteria is transmitted by blacklegged tick bites. In Vermont over half of black-legged ticks carry this bacteria.
Ticks are very adaptable and can live in a variety of outdoor habitats. These include brush, grass, trees, fields, wooded areas, etc. The property around your home can be a suitable environment for ticks.
Who Can Get Lyme Disease?
Anyone who spends time outdoors is susceptible to Lyme Disease. Hikers, campers, landscapers, etc., all run a higher risk of contracting Lyme Disease. The highest rates of Lyme Disease cases happen in the summer, when more people are spending time outside and in nature. Generally, the rate of Lyme Disease is higher in southern Vermont, including Rutland, Bennington, and Windham, but cases are found in every county in the state.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
The tricky part of Lyme Disease is that it mimics flu-like symptoms including fatigue, weakness, fever, and joint pain. Left untreated these symptoms can progress into more serious illness. One symptom to look out for is a bullseye rash around the bite. The good news is that Lyme Disease is treatable with antibiotics, and the earlier the diagnosis, the less complicated treatment will be. Preventing tick bites, though not always possible, is the best way to avoid the risk of Lyme Disease.
At Champlain Medical, we recommend the following precautions.
- Avoid tick habitats. If you are in the woods or brush, the best thing is to perform daily checks. You should also check your pets thoroughly if they are at risk.
- Wear protective clothing. Long sleeves, long pants and tucking pants into socks can help prevent tick bits. Also, run your clothing in the dryer for 15 minutes when you get home. The heat will kill any undetected ticks.
- Use insect repellent. Check the label for tick repellent products. Treat your clothing boots, and apply to skin as directed.
- Clear the brush, grass, and leaves from your yard. Ticks typically like to hide-out in dense brush and grasses, so keeping your yard manicured can help eliminate the risk of tick bites.
At Champlain Medical we know all the signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease and can test you at our clinic. If you have contracted Lyme Disease, we can prescribe the medicine you need and get you back to health as soon as possible. The key is to come in as soon as you have symptoms and suspect you may have been exposed.
For more information about Lyme Disease, and all your health care needs, please contact Champlain Medical directly.