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WMS Issues Guidelines on Tickborne Illness in the U.S.

Last Updated: December 29, 2021.

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- In clinical practice guidelines issued by the Wilderness Medical Society and published online Dec. 4 in Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, recommendations are presented for the prevention and management of tickborne illness (TBI).

Benjamin M. Ho, M.D., from Southern Wisconsin Emergency Associates in Janesville, and colleagues developed evidence-based guidelines for prevention and management of TBI. The recommendations were graded based on the quality of the supporting evidence.

The authors strongly recommend use of N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), picaridin, and permethrin; tick checks; washing and drying clothes at high temperatures; mechanical removal of ticks within 36 hours of attachment; single-dose doxycycline versus watchful waiting for high-risk Lyme disease exposures; evacuation from backcountry settings for symptomatic tick exposures; and TBI education programs. Despite insufficient evidence, the use of long-sleeved clothing when traveling in tick habitats is recommended based on expert opinion. Although evidence supports the use of vaccination to reduce the risk for infection, Lyme disease vaccines currently are not available in the United States.

"Despite the limitations of the existing literature, these guidelines provide a starting point for front-line providers to mitigate the transmission and reduce the disease burden of TBIs through education and low-risk interventions," Ho said in a statement.

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