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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

Arthritis at Work: Ergonomics Can Help

The day-to-day demands of work can pose many challenges when you have arthritis. That’s true whether you work at a desk job or a job that requires lifting and bending. Fortunately, a few simple principles can help most people get through the day without undue pain. Ergonomically designed chairs, desks, and specific equipment can also help take the strain off painful joints. Here are eight tips from arthritis experts.

Read the Arthritis at Work: Ergonomics Can Help article > >

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    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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