Our warm winter means Lyme disease is on the rise, but don’t let fear keep you from venturing outdoors.
Recent news about the potential uptick of Lyme disease, particularly in the Northeast, due to a mild winter, is sure to cause a bit of anxiety among those of us who enjoy spending time outdoors with our families (and we hope this is most of us!).
Especially since you don’t need to spend your whole summer camping under the stars to be at risk for getting bitten by a potentially Lyme-carrying, black-legged tick.
They can find their way onto our skin after during an afternoon hike—whether through the deepest of woods or even in our neighborhoods.
And though Lyme disease is treatable, those of us who know people who’ve suffered from the disease, which results in flu-like symptoms and arthritis, among other things, know it’s one best to avoid. We don’t want anyone we know and love coming down with it.
Even still, we’re told to “not panic” about the threat of ticks and Lyme disease. Seems easier said than done when we’re weighing the pros and cons of that weekend hike in our favorite bit of woods. But a conversation with pediatrician Dr. Hannah Chow-Johnson, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Loyola University in Chicago, revealed that the “not panic” wisdom is well-founded. We can settle down and enjoy our outings—especially when we adhere to four rules: