Spring is on our doorstep and everyone is excited to get outside! Unfortunately, given where we live, we all must be aware of ticks and Lyme Disease. Many of us have either been infected or know someone who has been infected with the disease.
Lyme disease is spread to humans through the bite of small, infected ticks and can lead to serious joint, heart or central nervous system issues.
Common symptoms include skin rash, fever & chills, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, severe headaches, facial palsy, irregular heartbeat, abnormal sensations in limbs (sharp, stabbing pains, burning sensation, tingling, numbness), inflammation at several sites, cognitive problems (short term memory, concentration, alertness, word retrieval, efficiency in mental processing)
Recently Norwell’s Selectmen hosted an information session with the “Tick Guy”, inviting all the south shore towns to participate. It was reported that during 2014, Norwell alone reported 18 cases of Lyme, assuming there were many more which were not identified. You are actually one of the lucky ones if you find the tick or a “bulls eye”, otherwise the results are much more severe and long lasting if it goes undetected.
Ticks should be on everyone's mind year round. If the ground is not frozen we should all take appropriate precautions. The nasty little bugs cling to plants in brush, wooded or grassy places. Deet and/or permethrin should be applied to clothing, especially socks and shoes, before going outside. If you have been in areas where ticks love, check your entire body especially between the toes, back of the knees, groin, armpits, necks, along the hairline, and behind the ears.