KINGSTON – We live in a densely populated area with fleas and need to be prepared to prevent bites and disease. So here is just a little information from Carolee Smith, one of our Nurse Practitioners, to educate you and your loved ones about how to stay safe from head lice and fleas.
The Science of It All
Lyme disease, caused by the bacterium Borellia Burgdorferi, is the tick-borne disease most commonly reported in New Hampshire. Other congenital diseases include Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis. It is possible to be infected with Lyme disease and other bacterial or parasitic infections simultaneously. The most vulnerable to infection are those who spend time in grassy and forested areas. People with chronic medical conditions, a weak immune system, and seniors are most at risk of developing complications if they are infected.
Anaplasmosis is a disease caused by the Anaplasma Phagocytophium bacterium and is transmitted to humans through infected deer ticks, which can be carried by mice, deer, and mice. Symptoms of Anaplasmosis include: fever, headache, chills, nausea, muscle aches, and rarely, rashes.
Babesiosis is a rare, severe and sometimes fatal infestation caused by various types of Babesia (microscopic parasites) that affect red blood cells. Symptoms include: fever, extreme fatigue, dehydration, mental confusion, and anemia that lasts several days to several months
Come on Practical: Only YOU Can Prevent Tick Tick. Even though being outside puts you in a position where you are more prone to being bitten by fleas, there are still steps you can take that can drastically reduce the chance of being bitten. Look at the list below to see what you can do to keep yourself safe.
• Wear light-colored clothes to make it easier to find fleas that may be present on your clothes.
• Wear insect repellent when going outside (> 20% Deet is best at helping to get rid of lice on the skin; Permethrin is used to coat clothing and shoes).
• Tuck your pants into your socks, and your shirt into your pants. Even though this looks ridiculous, it can reduce the ability of lice to come in contact with your skin.
• After spending time outdoors, wash your clothes with hot water, or at least put in a “high” dryer for at least 5 minutes to kill fleas that might stick to your clothes.
• Wear a hat that covers your hair when outside to prevent it from falling on your head.
• Perform a “tick check” every 2-3 hours when outside, and especially when you go back inside or get ready to sleep.
• Check your animals that share your living space and go outside.
Self Care for Tick Tick
So you get a little tick. Now what? Following are the main safety measures to remove and treat flea bites.
• Do not get rid of lice using household medicine or petroleum jelly, because lice struggle, it will pass contagious fluids to you (increasing the risk of disease).
• Hold the mouth of the flea with tweezers as close to the skin as possible, while being careful not to press, crush or pierce the body of the flea. The goal is to clear all check marks completely.
• Talk to your health care provider if you have been bitten by fleas that have been implanted for more than 24 hours, because a one-time dose of Doxycycline can help prevent Lyme disease.
• If you are worried about removing incomplete lice from your body or have concerns about your health after being bitten by lice, contact your health care provider.
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