Archive for May, 2016

Lyme Disease Symptoms & Prevention: Part II

rivers-258367_1920Perhaps the most well-known symptom of Lyme disease is a rash that looks like a bull’s-eye. This occurs in 70-80 percent of people infected by a tick bite. The area directly around the tick bite may be red and raised and look like a normal bug bite. The rash often spreads in a circular pattern that’s lighter in the center and darker on the outer ring. However, not everyone who gets Lyme disease gets the target-shaped rash.

Classic signs of early Lyme disease include: muscle aches, headache, fatigue and fever. Some people with Lyme disease experience other, more advanced symptoms of the illness. Joint pain, especially in the knees, and a stiff neck may occur in the early-symptom stage or several months after your tick bite. Severe headaches and shooting pain in your body can occur. Dizziness and changes in your heart rate or rhythm are also advanced symptoms of Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. The earlier you’re treated, the better your chances for recovery. Most people who are diagnosed in the early stages take an oral medication for between two and three weeks.

Prevention
Ultimately, it’s best to avoid and prevent infection, obviously. While we don’t want to limit time outdoors, it’s imperative to use caution and follow these guidelines to reduce your chances of a tick bite:

-Use DEET on skin and treat clothing with spray containing permethrin.
-Avoid tick-infested areas, such as dense leaves under trees.
– Avoid brushing against long grasses and brush on edges of paths. Don’t sit on stumps or fallen logs.
-Wear light-colored long pants and long sleeves so you can easily see any ticks.
-Tuck shirt into pants and tuck pants into socks.
-Do a thorough tick check upon returning inside and for several days following exposure.

Symptoms can start at any time between three and 30 days after infection. The incubation period can also lead to confusion about your symptoms. If you don’t remember being bitten, you may think you have the flu and you may not connect the tick bite and your symptoms.

If you’re experiencing any symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. They can administer a Lyme disease test kit, as well as blood work, to confirm or rule out Lyme disease infection.

Facts About Lyme Disease: Part I

tick-1271763_1280Most of us have at least heard about Lyme disease and know that it’s contracted from a tick – but that’s the extent of most people’s knowledge. In order to keep you and your family safe it’s important to know the details of Lyme disease, including what exactly it is, the symptoms and side effects , how to prevent Lyme disease and the use of Lyme Disease Elisa test kits in detection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease in the US every year. With the exception of winter, when many, but not all, ticks are dormant, it’s possible to come into contact with a tick from spring through fall. That’s why isn’t important to be knowledgeable and aware of the risks.

What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is an illness that’s caused by bacteria carried by infected Ixodes ticks, also known as deer ticks, and on the West Coast, black-legged ticks. Ticks are typically found in wooded and grassy areas.

Lyme disease can affect any organ of the body, including the brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, and the heart. Lyme disease is treatable, but it can cause serious health problems if you wait too long to receive treatment. Many people with Lyme disease don’t know they have it until their symptoms are advanced. Knowing the signs and symptoms will help you to seek treatment as early as possible.

To learn more about Lyme disease, continue reading our next blog post, Lyme Disease Symptoms & Prevention: Part II.

How Does Zika Virus Spread?

mosquito-1465062_1920As if mosquito’s weren’t nuisance enough in late spring and through the summer season, we must now contend with the risk of contracting the Zika virus. Protection is key, especially for children and pregnant women, to prevent being bitten, as well as preventing the spread of the disease.

In our previous post, Facts about the Zika Virus, we discussed the threat of the virus, symptoms and prevention. Now let’s discuss how the disease spreads.

Mosquitoes can carry Zika from person to person. If a pregnant woman is infected, the Zika virus can be transmitted to her baby while she is pregnant or around the time of birth. Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite both indoors and outdoors, mostly during the daytime.

As the weather becomes warmer, more mosquito’s will circulate. Some of the mosquito’s can be infected with the Zika virus. It is imperative to protect yourself using bug sprays and repellents containing DEET (20% to 30% concentration is best, according to the CDC), picaridin, oil-of-lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane–diol or IR3535.

However, being bitten from an infected mosquito isn’t the only way to contract the virus. The virus can also be sexually transmitted, including through oral sex, which can be very dangerous for pregnant women, or those trying to become pregnant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still is reviewing data on whether the virus can be transmitted through saliva and urine.

The best way to prevent becoming infected with the Zika virus is to wear long sleeves and pants, or clothes treated in permethrin, when necessary, use insect repellent and sleep in screened or air-conditioned rooms.

If you’re a doctor’s office, hospital, or emergency clinic looking for testing kits, RapidTest offers exceptional ELISA test kits, including infectious disease, parasitology, diabetes, and blood bank kits. Contact us today to learn more about our full selection of diagnostic test kits.

Facts about the Zika Virus

tiger-mosquito-49141_1920As the Zika virus continues to spread world wide – and with hundreds of imported cases here in the United States -here’s what every American needs to know about the virus and their risk.

With 40 million Americans traveling to Zika-affected countries every year, it’s only a matter of time before local transmission of the virus will begin, according to infectious-disease experts. It’s most likely to happen when an infected traveler returns to the U.S. and is bitten by a mosquito that’s capable of spreading disease.

Symptoms
Most people infected with Zika virus won’t even know they have the disease because they won’t have symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache.

If a pregnant woman is infected, the Zika virus can be transmitted to her baby while she is pregnant or around the time of birth. Some, but not all, babies born to mothers infected with Zika can have the birth defect, Microcephaly. Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected and can lead to a number of health-related issues.

Prevention
Preventing mosquito bites is the best way to prevent Zika. If you’re in an area with disease-spreading mosquitoes, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, no matter how warm it is. According to the CDC, use insect repellents that contain one of the following ingredients: DEET (20% to 30% concentration is best, according to the CDC), picaridin, oil-of-lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane–diol or IR3535

Vaccine development is under way at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Scientists are tweaking a vaccine that was initially developed for the West Nile virus, and they expect to launch a safety trial for it in September 2016.

If you’re a doctor’s office, hospital, or emergency clinic looking for testing kits, RapidTest offers exceptional ELISA test kits, including infectious disease, parasitology, diabetes, and blood bank kits. Contact us today to learn more about our full selection of diagnostic test kits.