Prevention and Treatment
Currently, there is no vaccine available to prevent Lyme disease, but standard precautions to avoid exposure to ticks and tick bites can greatly reduce the risk of becoming infected. These include:
- Wearing light-colored long-sleeved shirts and pants
- Tucking pant legs into socks
- Wearing closed shoes
- Avoiding wooded and grassy areas, especially in spring and early summer, walking in the center of trails
- Using a tick repellant that contains 20-30% DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) or permethrin
- Checking for ticks after spending time outside
- Removing ticks as soon as they are found
- Pets should also be routinely checked for ticks.
Lyme disease is usually treated with oral antibiotics for 2-4 weeks. Some people may require intravenous antibiotics. In most cases, those with Lyme disease recover rapidly and completely. In some cases, especially with late-stage Lyme disease, some joint pain and neurological damage may persist. For more on Lyme disease treatment, see this CDC web page.