Facts About Lyme Disease

Only Deer ticks spread Lyme disease
Less than 5% of Deer ticks carry Lyme disease
Nymph forms of the tick are most active May – July, Adults in the Fall
Most people with known tick bites do NOT contract Lyme disease
Almost no chance of Lyme disease if tick present for less than 48 hours
Common to get a rash from a tick bite, not always the rash of Lyme disease, Erythema
Chronicum Migrans (ECM).
ECM rash is present in 80% of those with actual Lyme disease. 20% never see a rash.
ECM is flat, pale red, warm, larger than 2 ” diameter.
Treatment of Lyme disease in early stage, if rash present, is almost always effective. Waiting up
to 30 days to begin treatment will not reduce effectiveness of treatment.
Preventative treatment is available (one dose of antibiotic Doxycycline) for those who meet
criteria:
  • Confirmed Deer tick bite
  • Tick present over 36 hrs
  • Tick not engorged
  • Treatment able to begin within 72 hrs of tick removal
The only research proven method to a remove tick is to grab the tick as close to skin as possible
with tweezers, Pull straight up with firm and steady traction. Do NOT jerk. Do NOT crush the
tick.
Testing the tick for the presence of Lyme disease is not recommended as it offers little
information and is expensive.
Blood tests at the time of the bite are not recommended. Lyme blood tests do not turn positive
until two weeks later, at the earliest. Sometimes take up to 30 days to turn positive.
By Roger M. Thompson, MD