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Has chronic Lyme disease. What are the types of places that are likely to get exposed?

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Infectious Diseases Specialist
Practicing since : 2000
Answered : 180 Questions
My friend has "chronic" Lyme disease and has told me she has to be very careful where she goes so as not to be exposed to anyone who is sick. What types of places is this least likely to occur. I'm thinking outdoors, where bacteria or germs are more likely to disseminate. Can you offer me any more places?
Posted Fri, 12 Jul 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Binod Kumar Pati 1 hour later

Thanks for the query.

Before I answer your question, I would like to share with you some general information about chronic lymes disease. Chronic lyme disease is also known as Postlyme syndrome. Compared with symptoms of active Lyme disease, post-Lyme symptoms tend to be more generalized or disabling. They include marked fatigue, severe headache, diffuse musculoskeletal pain, pain and stiffness in joints, diffuse paresthesias and sleep disturbances. No evidence of joint inflammation is seen.They have normal neurologic test results.

I understand your friend may be suffering with some of these symptoms. And yes, avoidance of tick - infested areas is essential. In US, the central states are less prone to tick infestation. She may want to choose such areas for vacation. In addition, protective measures such as use of repellents and acaricides; modification of landscapes in or near residential areas - removing of leaves, tall bushes and grass can be helpful; using full sleeved clothing / hats / gloves and shoes will prevent further exposure.

Hope it's clear. Ask me, if want to know more.

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Follow-up: Has chronic Lyme disease. What are the types of places that are likely to get exposed? 10 hours later
I am wondering what type of activities would be best to avoid so that she does not pick up any infections that others may have. She tells me that, although she is a very social person, she does not go out much because she fears she will catch something. I am thinking of taking her to an outdoor party and wondering if that may risk her health.
Answered by Dr. Binod Kumar Pati 57 minutes later
Welcome back.
There are several tactics you can use to prevent tick bites and reduce your risk of tickborne disease.
Blacklegged ticks live in moist and humid environments, particularly in or near wooded or grassy areas. To avoid ticks, walk in the center of trails and avoid tall vegetation.
Deer are the main food source for adult ticks. Keep deer away from your home by removing plants that attract deer and by constructing physical barriers that may discourage deer from entering your yard and bringing ticks with them. ‚Äč

Check your clothing and pets for ticks because ticks may be carried into the house on clothing and pets. Any ticks that are found should be removed. Placing clothes into a dryer on high heat effectively kills ticks.
Remove an attached tick using fine-tipped tweezers as soon as you notice it. If a tick is attached to your skin for less than 24 hours, your chance of getting Lyme disease is extremely small.

Wear light-colored clothing to make it easier to see ticks on you. When possible, wear closed shoes and long pants. Tuck the hems of long pants into socks to block skin access.
Spray your skin and clothes with insecticides containing DEET when outdoors.

Explain her that there is universal presence of microbes. One can never run away from them. However it is mandatory to avoid high risk activities. Small exposures are needed for the body to develop protective immunity against diseases.
Hope you got your answer.
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Follow-up: Has chronic Lyme disease. What are the types of places that are likely to get exposed? 4 hours later
i am not concerned about ticks, i am concerned about airborn infections from others. is an oudoor situation better than being around a collection of people under the same roof
Answered by Dr. Binod Kumar Pati 6 hours later

It is quite obvious that chances contracting airborne infections will be more, if you are among people with diseases. However if you maintain a distance of around 1 meter, you may avoid chances of droplet coming to you, which will probably be impossible in a party.

But as I told there is presence of microbes everywhere, one cannot and should not try to run away from them. It is the subclinical infections, that gives us protective immunity.

Hope I answered your querry. You may close the discussion rate it, if you have no more to ask.

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