The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 476,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease in the US every year. However, because diagnosing Lyme can be difficult, many people who actually have Lyme may be misdiagnosed with other conditions. Many experts believe the true number of cases is much higher.
Symptoms of early Lyme disease may present as a flu-like illness (fever, chills, sweats, muscle aches, fatigue, nausea and joint pain). Some patients have a rash or Bell’s palsy (facial drooping). However, although a rash shaped like a bull’s-eye is considered characteristic of Lyme disease, many people develop a different kind of Lyme rash or none at all. Estimates of patients who develop a Lyme rash vary widely, ranging from about 30% to 80%.
About 95% of people recover from Lyme disease however there are people that experience long-term effects of Lyme disease. These symptoms include fatigue, headaches, tiredness and other symptoms for months after they get the disease.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers work very well in removing a tick.
Here are step-by-step instructions:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouthparts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
- Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet.