DO I HAVE LYME DISEASE?

The symptoms of Lyme disease, which you can get from a tick bite, aren’t always obvious. At the site of the bite, a red splotch will often start to grow into what looks like a bulls-eye target.

Not everyone gets this unmistakable sign, however. Over the next few weeks, flu-like symptoms, including aches and fever, can follow.

DO I HAVE LYME DISEASE?

The symptoms of Lyme disease, which you can get from a tick bite, aren’t always obvious. At the site of the bite, a red splotch will often start to grow into what looks like a bulls-eye target.

Not everyone gets this unmistakable sign, however. Over the next few weeks, flu-like symptoms, including aches and fever, can follow. Left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to a host of problems, chronic joint inflammation, facial palsy, issues with short-term memory, heart rhythm irregularities, and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

IF YOU’VE BEEN AROUND TICKS

The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to do a thorough tick check. Nymph ticks are so tiny they can be hard to spot, so find a partner, strip down, and go over places that are hard to reach. Make sure you check your partner’s armpits, scalp and groin for ticks.

IF YOU FIND A TICK

If you know it has been on you for under 36 hours, use tweezers to pull it out correctly, and you will probably be fine. That’s because the Lyme-causing bacteria that live in a tick’s gut are slow, and it takes 36 to 48 hours for them to make it into your bloodstream. Always see a doctor if you are unsure.

IF YOU’VE MISSED THE WINDOW

It’s best to see a doctor for a Lyme disease test – but not right away. Your antibodies to Lyme disease take weeks to form, so an early test can give a false reassurance. Wait four to six weeks before requesting a blood test.