What are the biggest misconceptions when it comes to Lyme disease? MYTH: Ticks are only active in the summer.
FACT: Ticks are active year-round. They are most active in spring, summer and fall.
MYTH: Only deer carry black-legged (ie: deer) ticks.
FACT: Ticks use a multitude of hosts, in addition to deer, including household pets, birds, mice, chipmunks, squirrels, and lizards!
MYTH: It takes 36-48 hours for a tick to infect a person.
FACT: The longer a tick is attached, the higher the risk of transmission. But it is possible to get Lyme disease even if a tick is attached for less than 24 hours.
What is your advice to other’s impacted by this disease?I speak with so many parents daily from around the world who are concerned that their children may have tick-borne illnesses or are panicked because their physician may be overlooking the possibility that one or more of these diseases is the cause of their or their loved ones suffering. I encourage everyone that I speak with to remember that they must be a fierce advocate for their children. If you are not comfortable with the diagnosis from your current doctor, you must seek other opinions elsewhere, as this illness is complex and very hard to diagnose. Educating oneself about the disease is as crucial as is learning about proper prevention methods.
Checking yourself and your children and pets can prove to be an excellent way to remove ticks properly before they even enter into your home. Another key component is awareness. Children or adults do not have to play in the woods to get bitten. Sadly, it’s very easy to get bitten and not even know it. Routine at home tick checks after camp or sporting events are critical for effective prevention. Keeping my three children, ranging in age from 7 to 14, protected from ticks and tick-borne illnesses, and yet able to enjoy themselves in the outdoors, is always of utmost importance to me.
If you or your child or any family member has one or more of the tick-borne illnesses, remember that you do have treatment options. Finding the right physician and support group or being connected with others who are dealing successfully with these diseases is also helpful.
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