Lyme Disease Maryland

Lyme disease is an illness that came from a bacteria known as Borrellia burgdorferi. The disease can be transmitted to animals and humans through tick bite, specifically the black legged-tick or the Ixodes scapularis. The most crucial stage of the tick – which is the nymph stage that occurs from late spring up to the summer – is the time that most likely transmit Lyme disease. The black-legged tick is so small, almost the same size as the head of the pin or much smaller. They feed on different kinds of animals including the likes of mice, deer, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, domestic animals, and birds. Generally speaking, Lyme disease is transmitted to ticks by chipmunks and mice, not deer. Though there are proof that suggests how excessive deer population can escalate the rate of deer ticks in certain area, an opposing evidence shows that if the ticks are already present, decreasing the deer population might only have a tiny impact on lowering the rate of ticks unless the number of deer are dramatically lowered. Basically, the best shield against Lyme disease is protection from ticks. 

What areas have Lyme disease?

The first sightings of Lyme disease was first discovered in 1975 in Lyme, Connecticut and it is most common in the upper Midwest and northeast areas of the United States. By 2013, there were already 27, 203 confirmed cases of Lyme disease all over the nation and more than 9, 104 additional plausible cases, as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The symptoms of Lyme disease are joint and muscle pain, fever, fatigue, and a differentiable “bull’s-eye” shaped skin rash. If the illness is left untreated, it can lead to severe health issues including heart disease and muscle and joints swelling. It can be cured with antibiotics if discovered right away. Take note that Lyme disease is considered as the most prevalent tick-borne disease but it is not the only illness that can be acquired from ticks. 

Are there deer ticks in Maryland?

Ticks may appear smaller but they are actually members of the arachnids, such as mites and spiders. They undergo four life stages, namely egg, larva, nymph, and adult. They also need three blood meals to finish their lifecycle. Ticks search for potential host that they can grab on by attaching themselves to grasses or leaves. They don’t jump, fall, or fly, they only crawl from trees to their hosts. They can withstand freezing temperatures and they usually come out during those days. Naturally, ticks doesn’t have disease-causing pathogens. They only get it once they feed on mice, deer, and other wildlife with infection. When a disease-infected tick crawls to your body and bites you, it only takes 1-2 to transmit the pathogen. Maryland is a place where deer ticks are prevalent.

What states have the most Lyme disease?

Maryland is part of the 12 states wherein the majority of Lyme disease cases are found. According to statistics, almost 20-30% of deer ticks found in Maryland can transmit Lyme Disease. 

Are there ticks in Maryland?

There are a total of 5 species of tick in Maryland and most of them can transmit Lyme Disease. If you are a resident of Maryland and want to protect yourself and your family from the infection caused by Lyme disease, here are a few steps that you can follow: 

  • Perform tick checkups on your pets, your children, and yourself every four to six hours for several days once you have visited a tick-infested place. Carefully search for presence of ticks since they are very tiny.
  • Wear clothes that have light colors so it’s easier to spot and eliminate ticks.
  • Reduce tick exposure. Insert your pant legs inside your boots and socks. Tuck shirts into your pants to prevent ticks from getting in contact with your body. Also, wear long-sleeved shirts that you can button at the wrist.
  • Remove ticks that are attached to your body right away – the disease can be transmitted in as fast as 24 hours or more.
  • Within the premises of your home, revamp your landscape to make it uninhabitable for ticks. Cut your grass regularly, eliminate leaf litter, clear woodpiles/underbrush, and prune tress. If you give way for sunlight to reach your yard, the rate of ticks around your home will be reduced.
  • Remove habitats of tiny rodents in your home.
  • If you use chemicals to control the number of ticks in your area, make sure you follow the directions carefully or ask help from an expert.
  • Stay away from tick-infested places like dense vegetation in farms or tall grass in university campuses. Make it a habit to walk in the middle of mowed trails when you are hiking to prevent touching the vegetation.
  • If you are an outdoor person, use long-lasting and effective “Permethrin” repellents for your clothes. Put on tick repellent to the areas of your clothing and body that might potentially touch the brush and grass.
  • Read and follow the directions carefully when using repellents. Do not overdo it since there are tick repellents that can cause allergic reactions or can be toxic.
  • Talk to your veterinarian for some tick control strategies for your pets. Animals can also acquire Lyme disease however it is impossible to transmit to humans. 
  • Black-legged ticks are very small and they are not bigger than the head of a pin. Make sure you search for them thoroughly in your clothing and body. 

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