Lyme Disease: Signs, Treatment and Prevention

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Tick Tick
Tick bite Tick bite

As you start to spend more time outside in the spring and summer months, it could increase your exposure to ticks and tick-borne illnesses - including Lyme disease. It's important to know the symptoms and what to do if you get infected.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by tick bites.  It's the most commonly reported tick-borne illness, with a nine percent increase in cases last year.  

The signs of Lyme disease are flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, chills, fever, and headaches.   

"It's important to pay attention to this and other tick-borne illnesses because first of all it's preventable if you can remove it in 24 hours. They're all treatable if you get antibiotics and the antibiotics work better if you catch it early," said William Petri, chief of Division of Infectious Diseases at UVA Health.    

Reduce exposure to ticks by using bug spray and wearing protective clothing. Doctors also recommend checking for ticks every 24 hours during the spring and summer months.

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