two women, a child, and a dog on an autumn trail hike

Be Alert for the Signs

This week marks the official start of autumn. Soon the leaves will turn to red and gold and wooded trails will beckon us. What could be bad about a stroll in the woods on a lovely fall day? Lyme disease, carried by ticks can spoil a perfect hike and impact your health for months.

Lyme disease caused by tick bites is common in New Jersey and the Northeast in general. A single tick bite can deliver a dose of the bacteria that causes the disease. If a walk in the woods is on your fall agenda, stay on the trails and wear long pants tucked into socks or boots. Check yourself and kids carefully as soon as you get home. Don’t forget to look in the kids’ hair.

Here are some signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease:

  • A bulls-eye shaped rash, starting as a small red mark but expanding to 2” across or more
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Fever and headache

Seek treatment right away when it is most effective. Lyme Disease can impact joints and even infect the spinal cord and brain. A course of one or more antibiotics can usually kill the bacteria. If you believe you’ve had a tick bite, or feel the symptoms of Lyme Disease, check with your primary care provider. Need to find someone in your neighborhood? Call: 855.385.HEAL (4325) to meet a skilled HackensackUMG provider near you.

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