Healthy Options 5/3/23: Lyme disease & tick-borne illness, and how to be tick-conscious, to protect ourselves

Host/Producer: Rhonda Feiman
Co-Producer: Petra Hall

Healthy Options: For Well-being & Being Well

This month:

Where are ticks found & how can we identify the ticks we may find, in their different life cycles? What size are they right now?
What is Lyme disease and why is it often difficult to diagnose- and treat?
What are co-infections? What are the different illnesses which are showing up now?  What is Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Borrelia, Alpha-gal, & Powassan Virus?
What are the ways that we do treat tick diseases? Is there an effective way to prevent Lyme after a tick bite? Is using a single dose of antibiotics a valid and effective strategy to use right after a tick bite?
Why should we not wait if we have symptoms after a tick bite? What are symptoms we might experience?
What does clinical diagnosis mean?
What are some preventative techniques we can use to minimize our risk of getting a tick-borne illness?
What kinds of clothing, and repellent, are effective to try to prevent tick bites?
What is permethrin and what are the benefits to using it on our clothes, socks and shoes?
How do we check for ticks? Why do a tick check and why is it a good idea to shower after we’ve been outside?
Why should we check our pets for ticks? What about people who come visit and may bring ticks?
If you get a tick bite, how do you remove the tick safely? What might we do next? How long does a tick have to be imbedded for it to be able to transmit disease?
Should you send a tick to a lab for analysis?
Do we have decisive testing for tick diseases? Are there any vaccines yet?

Dr. Beatrice Szantyr, Internist and Pediatrician who lectures on Lyme disease and related tick-borne disorders in Maine and nationally, to both professional and community groups. She is an active member of the Maine CDC Vector Borne Disease Work Group, and a member of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society.  Dr. Szantyr also had served on the 2022 Federal Tick-Borne Disease Working Group, Access to Care and Education Subcommittee. 

Additional Information:
EPA info on effective repellents

University of Maine Tick Lab
Protect Yourself from ticks & tick-borne diseases:

Tick testing Amherst MA. (tests for more diseases):

Lyme Disease Association
Research, Education, Prevention and Patient Support

Powered by patients. Home of Lyme Times and My Lyme Data:

Maine CDC Lyme disease Frequently Asked Questions

Maine Tracking Network: Tickborne Diseases
Improving public health with better information

University of Rhode Island Tick Encounter
Tick-borne Disease prevention Education

This article is brief enough for a patient to bring to a doctor’s visit for them to consider:
The Management of Ixodes scapularis Bites in the Upper Midwest

For clinicians:
Free, Evidence-based, AAFP-Accredited Courses that Physicians Can Trust

Previous Healthy Options programs on ticks & Lyme, with links to other websites of interest, can also be found at:

About the host:
Rhonda Feiman is a nationally-certified, licensed acupuncturist practicing in Belfast, Maine since 1993. She primarily practices Toyohari Japanese acupuncture, using gentle and powerful non-insertion needle techniques, and also utilizes Chinese acupuncture and herbology. In addition, Rhonda is a practitioner of Qi Gong and an instructor of Tai Chi Chuan in the Yang Family tradition.