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Friday, February 5, 2010


Whether you are traveling, practising a sport or simply strolling through your back yard, spending time outdoors may not always end up being as healthy as you think. Dangers are lurking everywhere and I am not talking about the ones you can see, but the ones you don't see.

Ticks can be found all over the world and are so small, most times people don't even notice when a tick latched on to them until it is swollen up several times it size during the course of its meal. That meal is your blood!

If the bite only causes a little itch and pain for a few days and then disappears, no problem. When the rash lasts longer, a red ring appears on the skin around the bite and flu like symptoms go with it, you better see a doctor because that is a sign of Lyme Disease.

Don't take this lightly; Lyme Disease can be the culprit of many severe physical conditions when it is not treated. Severe joint pain and neurological problems are the result and can manifest themselves months or even years later.

It is mainly the black legged tick (also referred to as deer tick) which is the carrier of this and several other transmittable diseases. The spider-like creature feeds on rodent-, deer-, dog- and human blood. They are most commonly found in woody and grassy areas where they can hide up to three feet high on leaves of bushes, waiting for a warm blooded victim to brush up against it.

Once they are on you, they do not attach to the skin right away for a feeding frenzy; it takes a while. Therefore it is good to check yourself and others carefully after being out and about. Taking a shower and using a wash cloth could be enough to rid yourself of them as well.

Always wear socks and shoes, long pants tucked in your socks and long sleeves. Even wearing gloves is recommended. Light colored clothes makes it easier to spot ticks so they can be removed early.

Should a tick have attached itself to your skin then use tweezers to remove it. Grab it as close the skin as possible and pull steadily but carefully until it comes off. Don't crush it; this increases the chance of more infection. Make sure no parts are left in the skin and desinfect the bite area well.

Keep an eye on it and if developping any of the symptoms mentioned or in doubt, see a doctor. You would want to be able to enjoy the outdoors for a long time to come!



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