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Lyme Disease - What Increases Your Risk

The main risk factor for Lyme disease is exposure to ticks that are infected with Lyme disease bacteria. In areas where Lyme disease is widespread, such as the northeastern United States and Canada, several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Spending time outdoors during the warm months of the year when ticks are most active. This is usually between May and November, with peak activity in June and July.
  • Having indoor/outdoor pets. They can bring infected ticks into the house. Although dogs and cats can become infected with the Lyme disease bacteria, they cannot pass the illness to humans. But the infected ticks can drop off the animal and then bite and infect a person.
  • Having a stone fence or a bird feeder near your house. Stone fences often become homes for mice, and mice may feed on spilled seed from a bird feeder. Where there are mice, there are ticks.

Remove ticks right away, as soon as you notice them. Your risk for getting Lyme disease increases the longer a tick is attached to your body. Ticks generally cannot transmit Lyme disease until they are attached for at least 36 hours.

Recommended Related to Arthritis

Understanding Plantar Fasciitis -- the Basics

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick, fibrous band of tissue (''fascia'') that reaches from the heel to the toes, supporting the muscles and arch of the foot. When the plantar fascia is overly stretched, tiny tears can occur in its surface, causing inflammation and pain. While some people have attributed this type of pain to bony growths called heel spurs, it's now believed that heel spurs are a result of rather than a cause of the pain from plantar fasciitis.

Read the Understanding Plantar Fasciitis -- the Basics article > >

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 21, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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