HARDSCIENCEONLYME Lyme disease prevention. Two Effective Practices?
I thought I would share a few prevention practices identified at the Institute of Medicine Lyme disease workshop as effective by Dr. Mathew Liang of Harvard Medical School. One idea focused a study in Nantucket by Daltroy (2007) on an educational outreach method. The 5-year study randomized 29,000 people traveling by ferry to Nantucket and exposed the study group to an entertainment-based information session about Lyme disease and steps to prevent it. Participants also received a card with a Braille dot on it the size of a tick and a plastic shower card similar to those used for breast self-exam, tweezers, and a map of the island where ticks were prevalent. The study showed a reduction in Lyme disease in the group who received the message, both among year round residents and among visitors, who constitute a high-risk population.
The second prevention idea he discussed was encouraging people to shower after exposure to tick environments. Obviously, the sooner a tick is removed from the body the less exposure risk there is to disease. Some ticks that are not attached may fall off from the water from mere act of showering, clothing which may be harboring ticks is removed reducing exposure, and the person showering may feel an attached tick which can then be safely removed.
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