FOR HEALTHCARE AND PUBLIC HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
Patients treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover rapidly and completely. In most cases, 2-4 weeks of antibiotic therapy cures an infection with the Lyme disease bacterium. Patients with certain manifestations, including neurological or cardiac forms of illness, may require intravenous antibiotic treatment.
After being treated for Lyme disease, some patients still report non-specific symptoms, including persistent pain, fatigue, impaired cognitive function, or unexplained numbness. These patients often show no evidence of active infections and may be diagnosed with post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PLDS). In patients with PLDS, multiple controlled trials have shown that prolonged antibiotic therapy is not beneficial and the risks outweigh the benefits.
The Infectious Disease Society of America has published science-based guidelines for the treatment of Lyme.
As a service to clinicians, CDC has supported the development of an online CME Case Study Course on the Clinical Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention of Lyme Disease. This free, interactive course consists of a series of case studies designed to educate clinicians regarding the proper diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. Each case is accredited for .25 CME credits, for a maximum of 1.5 CME. There is no cost for these credits.
Click here to learn about reporting Lyme disease and other diseases
Case Definitions for Infectious Conditions
Like other reportable communicable diseases listed in COMAR 10.06.01.03, health care providers, hospitals and laboratory directors are required to report diagnosed or suspected cases of Lyme disease to the health officer or commissioner in the county where the provider cares for that person.
DHMH and National Park Service Collaboration: Greenbelt Park Ticks and Lyme Disease Information
Erythema Migrans Poster - Looking for a bull's eye rash? Look again - erythema migrans can take many forms
Proper Removal of Ticks
It is very important to remove ticks properly. Mark your calendar on the date when a tick is taken off your body. This information will be useful to your doctor.
Figure: Proper Removal of Ticks
[Courtesy of CDC]
Remove a tick from your skin as soon as you notice it. Use fine-tipped tweezers to firmly grasp the tick very close to your skin. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from your skin. Then clean your skin with soap and warm water. Throw the dead tick away with your household trash.
Avoid crushing the tick’s body. Do not be alarmed if the tick’s mouthparts remain in the skin. Once the mouthparts are removed from the rest of the tick, it can no longer transmit the Lyme disease bacteria. If you accidentally crush the tick, clean your skin with soap and warm water or alcohol.Don’t use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other products to remove a tick.
Pet Protection. Household pets may carry ticks inside the home.
- Talk to your veterinarian about tick control products.
- Try to prevent pets from going into areas infested with ticks (woods, fields).
- Brush loose ticks off before letting pets into the house.
- Remove all ticks in the same way you would from yourself.
Healthy Pets Healthy People CDC Lyme Disease and Animals
KidsHealth Lyme Disease for Kids page
Residential Property Management If your home borders wooded, brushy areas, implement one or more of the following landscaping strategies to reduce tick density:
- Keep the grass in your yard cut short.
- Remove leaves and leaf litter.
- Clear brush from the yard.
- Create dessicating barriers by placing wood chips where lawns abut forest or dense vegetation.
- Consider the use of acaricide (tick-killing chemicals, like carbaryl cyfluthrin or deltamethrin) in early May to reduce ticks around the property. Consult a certified pest control professional.
- Consider excluding or removing deer.
Tick Management Handbook
An integrated guide for homeowners, pest control operators, and public health officials for the prevention of tick-associated disease. Click here.
"Tommy’s Tick Tips. Know the risks. Avoid the ticks.”
Reported cases of Lyme disease in Maryland:
Lyme Disease Reports 1990-1999