Back to Blog List

Topics/Previous Posts

  • Aug 08, 2018

Making time for lyme

Since 2004, cases of Lyme disease have more than tripled.

By Lou Ann Bruno-Murtha, DO, Division Chief, CHA Infectious Disease.

As summer is in full swing, outdoor activities bring fun and exercise as well as tick-borne diseases, unfortunately. The most common tick-borne illness regionally is Lyme disease. Since 2004, cases of Lyme disease have more than tripled nationwide. Massachusetts is among one of the 10 states with the highest number of cases reported in nearly every city and town. Now is a perfect moment to review the symptoms of Lyme disease and learn about prevention and treatment.


When you are spending time outside, walking, hiking or riding your bike, pay attention to heavily wooded or grassy areas for those are the spots where ticks are most commonly found. For folks enjoying outdoor activities, we recommend protective clothing, application of insect repellent containing DEET (products with 24% DEET are effective up to 5 hours) and daily tick checks. When you return home, wash clothing on high heat and take a hot shower if you believe that you had contact with ticks. Also, remember to give your animal a quick tick check because they tend to hide on pets.

Lyme Disease Transmission and Illness

Lyme is spread by the black-legged deer tick. The longer the tick is attached to the skin, the greater chance of infection. The tick must be attached for more than 36 hours for infection to occur.

The incubation period ranges from 3-30 days and the most common finding is a ring-like rash. This may be accompanied by a headache, tiredness, fever, muscle pain and chills. If you or a loved one believe that you have been infected by a tick, please call your doctor’s office immediately.


Individuals treated with the correct antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover completely. Antibiotics typically used include amoxicillin, doxycycline and cefuroxime axetil. People with certain cardiac problems may need intravenous treatment with antibiotics.

This articles provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider.

Back to Blog List

Affiliated with:
Teaching hospital of: