How is Lyme Disease Transmitted?
- Infected blacklegged ticks (or deer ticks) transmit bacteria that can cause Lyme disease.
- Lyme disease transmission usually occurs during the late spring and early summer (May, June, July) when young (nymph stage) ticks are active and feeding. However, adult blacklegged ticks remain active all winter and can also transmit Lyme disease.
- In most cases, the tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted.
How Common is Lyme Disease?
- Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne infection reported in Virginia and cases have doubled since 1999.
- In 2017 there were 1,041 confirmed cases and another 616 probable cases.
What are Signs and Symptoms?
Not everyone experiences the same symptoms. If you get sick and think you have been exposed to ticks, contact your doctor. If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause long-term nervous system problems or arthritis. People of any age can get Lyme disease. Dogs and cats are also at risk.
- Bull’s-eye rash
- Painful and swollen joints
- Muscle aches
- Swollen glands
How Can I Prevent Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is preventable by following these Tick Bite Prevention and Tick Removal Tips.