Preventing Lyme Disease

The Lyme disease vaccine is not yet proven safe and effective for children under age 15, although the vaccine looks promising for children in studies currently underway. In the meantime the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued January 2000 guidelines for the prevention of Lyme disease. Because a tick needs to be attached for at least 36 to 48 hours before it can transmit Lyme disease, the most important measure is checking children for ticks whenever they might have been in tick-infested areas. The Academy does NOT recommend prophylactic antibiotics if a tick is found. The risk after tick exposure is quite low. There can be more harm done with the overuse of antibiotics than in the attempt to prevent Lyme disease.

Published on: January 25, 2000
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Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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