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The Lyme Prevention Checklist
As part of our deep dive into some of the complexities of Lyme disease, we turned to Heather Hearst, the founder and now president of Project Lyme, a global advocacy organization focused on prevention and early detection. Hearst outlines their prevention guidelines below—essential for staying as safe as we can in the first place—and we’re also sharing EWG’s tips on choosing an insect repellent, which we learned via their senior scientist, David Andrews, Ph.D.
Heather Hearst on Preventing Lyme Disease
The bacteria that causes Lyme is carried by ticks, specifically black-legged or deer ticks. Ticks transmit Lyme disease by biting you and entering your skin through the bite. If you can avoid tick bites entirely, or remove a tick that has bitten you right away, you can largely protect yourself from this debilitating disease. The sooner you remove the tick, the better off you will be.
Bigger picture: We need more funding to solve this epidemic: most importantly, for a better test and better treatments for patients who do not fully recover from Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. There is still so much we don’t know about ticks and tick borne diseases, and there are also some studies looking at other potential carriers and ways the bacteria is transmitted to humans. (For research donations, I recommend Bay Area Lyme Foundation, and Project Lyme for awareness and education.)
Project Lyme’s Checklist
Prep Yourself First
- Wear light-colored clothing.
- Cover wrists and ankles. Tuck pants into socks and opt for long-sleeves.
- Spray with insect repellant. [See goop tips below.]
- Know your surroundings. Avoid tall grasses and humid, wooded, leaf-littered areas.
- If hiking, stay on trails.
- Do not sit on logs.
- Remember: Ticks aren’t just in the woods, they’re also in backyards and in parks.
Please continue reading more about Lyme Disease & its symptoms, along with prevention methods with input from Heather Hearst & David Andrews, PhD here: https://goop.com/wellness/health/lyme-prevention-checklist/
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