Preventing Lyme: 10 Top Tips | Daily Dose

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Preventing Lyme: 10 Top Tips

Posted By on Sun, Jul 13, 2014 at 5:05 PM


Social media is crawling these days with personal reports of tick bites and bull's eye rashes. We can hardly see a grassy path or forest edge without visions of deer ticks - tiny messengers of the borrelia virus that causes Lyme, the scourge of our modern age. What's a nature lover to do?

I spoke last week with Dr. Richard Horowitz, a Hyde Park doctor with a following among Lyme patients and the author of Why Can't I Get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme & Chronic Disease (St. Martin's, 2013). Look for an in-depth interview with Horowitz in the August issue of Chronogram. In the meantime, here are some of the doctor's top tips for staying tick-free in our Hudson Valley, one of the most Lyme-endemic regions in the world.

1. Apply tick spray. Horowitz prefers the natural brands, but recommends products containing DEET 20%, used with care, for extreme situations.

2. Wear light-colored clothing and long pants, and tuck pants into socks. You may not be stylish, but you'll keep ticks off your skin.

3. Spray clothing with a permethrin spray, a plant-based product for clothes. The spray will effectively repel ticks for one to two weeks. The US Army has introduced permethrin-factory treated combat uniforms to keep soldiers free from disease-carrying insects - but you can find the spray in your local drugstore.

4. Avoid woodland edges and shady forest paths, where ticks like to hang out.

5. After coming inside from outdoors, throw your clothes in the dryer for 30 minutes to kill any ticks that might be on them.

6. Find a partner to check you for ticks from head to toe. Check your children every night during tick season.

7. If you find an embedded tick, don't squeeze it with tweezers, as parts may break off and the mouthparts could remain in your skin. Instead, get a tick-removal device. Keep it on your keychain.

8. Don't assume that you don't have Lyme if you don't see a bull's eye rash. At least half of the people who develop Lyme never see a rash.

9. If you suspect Lyme, request a blood test from your doctor. Rather than the unreliable ELISA test, request the more sensitive Western blot test. The ELISA test misses Lyme about 50% of the time.

10. If you catch Lyme in the first 30 days, there's an 80% chance that you can cure it with a standard course of antibiotics. But keep in mind that along with Lyme, ticks may transmit additional infections. See a doctor specializing in tick-borne diseases who can help you see the whole picture - and come up with a treatment plan that works for you.

  • Pin It
  • Email
  • Favorite


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
Saugerties Writer's Club @ Saugerties Public Library

Saugerties Writer's Club

Second and Fourth Wednesday of every month, 6 p.m. — Do you like to write? Have you ever thought of writing? Join...
Time Travelers: Hudson Valley Artists 2018 @ Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art

Time Travelers: Hudson Valley Artists 2018

June 16-Nov. 11 — The works in the exhibition recognize the universal human desire to experience...

6th Annual Summer Hoot

Fri., Aug. 24, Sat., Aug. 25 and Sun., Aug. 26 — A 3-day music festival at The Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, NY (20...
Huichica Hudson Music Festival @ Chaseholm Farm

Huichica Hudson Music Festival

Fri., Aug. 24, 3 p.m., Sat., Aug. 25, 3 p.m. and Sun., Aug. 26, 3 p.m. — The Huichica Music Festival returns to the Hudson Valley this summer for...
Putnam County Wine & Food Fest @ Patterson Fire Department

Putnam County Wine & Food Fest

Aug. 25-26, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. — Enjoy the best wine and spirits New York has to offer, plus...

View all of today's events

Latest in Daily Dose

Top Commenters

Current Issue

August 1-31, 2018
Issue Cover