Dear Editor:

Lyme disease is a bacterial tick-transmitted disease that humans and animals can catch. An infected deer tick or lone star tick passes on Lyme disease by biting a host. Ticks crawl, but cannot fly or jump.

Early signs of the disease can include fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and a circular, bull's-eye or target shaped rash. Some people may not develop a rash.

To prevent Lyme disease, avoid exposure to tick-infested areas. When walking outdoors, wear light-colored clothing and tuck pant legs into socks. Apply bug repellent frequently and be sure to conduct thorough tick checks after coming inside.

If you find a tick embedded in your skin, grasp it with tweezers as close as possible to the skin. Pull up and out steadily and firmly. Do not handle the tick with your bare hands. Do not crush or squeeze the body, as it may contain infectious fluids. After removal, disinfect the site and wash your hands.

If you have any symptoms of Lyme disease, contact your doctor immediately, as it can cause serious problems to your health.

Garry Close