ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – COVID-19 is still a risk but Dr. Beck doesn’t want us to neglect the rest of our health. With temperatures rising, many pests are resurfacing including ticks and one risk for humans is the disease they carry, including Lyme disease.
According to Dr. Beck, Lyme disease is transmitted by deer ticks when they bite you. This doesn’t happen often in our area but it’s still something to watch out for.
Symptoms can be vague but within the first couple of days you may see a rash around the bite that looks like a target. Long term symptoms can be severe, including heart problems and arthritis. Other early signs may be a low-grade fever or fatigue but Dr. Beck says symptoms for Lyme disease are generally vague so health professionals will ask the patient if they have been exposed or if they have been anywhere they could have been exposed to a tick bite.
“Treatment depends on when the diagnosis is made” says Dr. Beck. If Lyme disease is detected early, the patient may only need a 10-14 day treatment of antibiotics. Whereas, if the diagnosis is made several months after infection, the patient will need more long-term antibiotics.
Dr. Beck says the best way to prevent Lyme disease from a tick bite is to take precautions like using insect repellent when you are outdoors and doing a full-body inspection after spending time in areas that you could have been exposed to ticks. It’s important to thoroughly check as ticks like to hide in areas like underneath the arm, neck, or hairline.
“I wanna alleviate anyone’s fears that ticks and fleas and any insects like that, mosquitoes, any bugs like that do not carry COVID-19”
While ticks may not spread the coronavirus, it is still a present threat and Dr. Beck would like to remind everyone to continue practicing social distancing, wearing a mask when you need it, and every other safety precaution recommended by the CDC.
WesTex Urgent Care is still offering antibody testing as well as car-side testing for an acute infection of COVID-19. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit WesTexUrgentCare.com.