TOUCHED BY LYME: My letter published in San Francisco Chronicle
The San Francisco Chronicle gave great coverage to Stanford’s recent study showing a high prevalence of infected ticks in the Bay Area. However, I felt that the article’s advice to shower after hiking to get rid of ticks needed more explanation. The newspaper published my letter to the editor today:
Thank you for this important article alerting people in the Bay Area to the risk of tick-borne infections (“Area not free of ticks,” Aug. 27). One point deserves amplification. Showering will only wash away ticks that haven’t latched on. It won’t do a darn thing for attached ticks, the ones in immediate position to harm you.
However, showering is a good time to check for attached ticks in all your creases and crevices. We recommend soaping up and running your hands all over your body—especially the hidden parts—feeling for small bumps that might be embedded ticks.
The sooner a tick is removed, the less opportunity it has to infect you. More information about protecting yourself from ticks at www.lymedisease.org. ~Dorothy Leland
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s VP for Education and Outreach. She is co-author of When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide, to be published in September 2015. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.