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Safety - Lyme Disease

You are here: Safety > Health > Lyme Disease

Personal health and well being should be a concern of all activities of daily living. This includes those activities that are done for recreational enjoyment. Though often not encountered, there are some health hazards that have potential exposure for those visiting our lands. To become familiar with these hazards, click on the following links for an in depth explanation of the process, potential for exposure, and safety measures.

For more information on health related hazards also see:


Hypothermia and Frostbite

Heat Exhaustion/Heat Stroke

Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease was first discovered in 1977. This disease is caused by a bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to humans or animals by the bite of infected deer ticks. The Centers for Disease Control have found that this bacterium causes more than 23,000 infections in the United States yearly.

Ixodes scapularais, northeastern and north central United States, and Ixodes pacifus, Pacific Coast, are the formal names for the ticks that transmit the bacteria. Because of the high inhabitance of white-foot mice and deer in the northeast and upper mid-west, Lyme’s Disease is most prevalent in these areas. Ticks feed off of these hosts. Once the tick is infected with the Lyme’s Disease, it can transmit the disease to the next host after biting and being attached to the host for 36-48 hours.

What are the signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease? The disease often starts as a red rash at the site of the tick bite, appearing a week to a month after the bite. Other common symptoms include the following: fatigue, headache, neck stiffness, jaw discomfort, achy joints or muscles, slight fever, swollen glands, or reddening of the eyes. If any of these symptoms appear, medical attention should be obtained. If a pregnant or nursing woman is bitten by a tick and develops a rash or flu-like symptoms, the doctor should be contacted immediately.

Lyme Disease is treatable. Early detection equals easier treatment. Antibiotics are the treatment of choice.

US Forest Service
Last modified March 28, 2013

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