Lyme disease: prevention and early detection

by Bill Hodgins | July 13, 2017

Lyme disease - early detection

This information was originally featured in the article, “The face of Lyme Disease” in the July 2017 issue of Ontario OUT of DOORS magazine.

Top 5 tick precautions

•Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Tuck your pants into your socks to prevent ticks from getting inside your pants.
•Check your clothes for ticks often. Ticks will climb upwards until they find an area of exposed skin.
•Wear light coloured clothing to make it easier to spot ticks.
•Walk on pathways or trails when possible, staying in the middle. Avoid low-lying brush or long grass.
•Apply insect repellent to your skin and clothing, especially at the openings such as ankle, wrist and neck.
(Source: Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation)

Tick treatment

After a tick has been removed, wash the bite site using soap and water, followed with an antiseptic. Over-the-counter antiseptic medications are available at any pharmacy.
Place the tick in a sealed container or sealable bag and take it to a Public Health unit (humans only, talk to your vet about pet bites) for testing as soon as you can.
If the tick is a Lyme-carrying species, don’t wait for symptoms to develop to see your doctor.

Early detection is key

The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation (CanLyme) was founded in 2003 to provide the public, including medical professionals, with balanced and validated information on Lyme disease and related co-infections. Its website states that there are many strains or genospecies of borrelia that cause Lyme disease in humans, just as there are many strains of the flu virus that cause flu symptoms in humans, with some more virulent than others. According to CanLyme, sufferers of Lyme disease usually go through a three-stage process.
Stage 1: Early infection (first few days after infection)
Stage 2: Infection spreads (days to weeks following infection)
Stage 3: Chronic Lyme (days to weeks after infection if left untreated, or not properly treated, for months/years after infection)

Lyme disease - pets

Lyme disease is most treatable during Stage 1. A delay makes treatment and diagnosis more difficult. Symptoms worsen during each stage of infection, ranging from flu-like symptoms to neurological illnesses, including paralysis. Chronic Lyme disease can affect virtually every system of the body.

Get personal accounts and more information on Lyme disease here.

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  1. Mark Kaye wrote: You have no idea what is really happening in doctors offices when it comes to Lyme Everything is about preventing a bite, nothing once your are bitten I am a chronic Lyme sufferer for over 20 years I had to go to the US for treatment, I am still not cured, but at least I can function I have a friend down Hamilton way who was showing all the signs of Lyme over xmas He went to the US and was clinically diagnosed with Lyme his GP referred him to a specialist the specialist listened to him for 2 minutes and then said stop talking and started to leave the room My friend asked what was going on, the specialist said he didn't want to hear any more symptoms and left the room My friend then sent bloodwork to Igenex on my advice and it came back positive for Lyme His GP refused any treatment My friend asked his GP for a referral to a Homeopath in Toronto who specialises in Lyme His GP refused Only after threatening to go public about the refusal did he get a referral now he is in the long queue waiting for an appointment another friend in the Ottawa area was bitten by a tick a month ago his doctor gave him 1 dose of doxycycline and sent him home he has sent the tick for testing, but the results won't be back for months until then, if he has Lyme it could be chronic by the time the results are back the medical profession is doing nothing different now, then they have for years they may do ELISA, but the test is basically useless for detecting Lyme all this talk of Lyme is just that, talk, nothing has changed in the diagnosis or treatment Lyme is an epidemic across the country, i.e. lower Canada & upper US, neither government will admit it people will continue to be poorly diagnosed, not treated and the disease will become chronic at that point there really isn't any cure I'll barely mention Babesia & Bartonella that usually come with Lyme, are a protozoa organism like malaria and require a totally different treatment, however, the symptoms all overlap