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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacteria. The bacteria are commonly found in mice, squirrels, and deer. Insects called deer or black-legged ticks feed on the blood of the infected animal. The infected tick passes the bacteria to you when it bites you.
- Antibiotics: This medicine will help fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- NSAIDs: These medicines decrease swelling, pain, and fever. NSAIDs are available without a doctor's order. Ask your primary healthcare provider which medicine is right for you. Ask how much to take and when to take it. Take as directed. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding and kidney problems if not taken correctly.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Prevent Lyme disease:
- Check your skin for ticks: Check your body and scalp for ticks after outdoor activities. Remove a tick from your skin with tweezers and clean the area with soap and water. Watch the area for a rash over the next month.
- Protect your skin: Wear protective clothing in areas where there may be ticks. Wear long sleeves and cover your ankles. Wear light-colored clothing so you can see if a tick is on your clothes. Spray your clothing and exposed skin with a tick repellant that contains DEET.
- Protect your home: Remove dead leaves and brush from around your home and yard. Make a border between your grass and the woods near your home if you live in a wooded area. Wood chips and gravel can be used to make the border. Spray tick repellant on the grass and tree areas where you live.
For more information:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta , GA 30333
Phone: 1- 800 - 232-4636
Web Address: http://www.cdc.gov/
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- Your rash grows or spreads to other areas of your body.
- You suddenly have trouble falling or staying asleep.
- You have new or worsening pain and swelling in your joints.
- You have new or worsening weakness and muscle pain.
- You have a new tick bite.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your heart is jumping and you feel dizzy.
- You have a headache and a stiff neck.
- You have chest pain or trouble breathing.
- You have trouble concentrating or thinking clearly.
- You suddenly cannot talk or see well, or you have trouble moving an area of your body.
- You have numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, or you have trouble walking.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.