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INDIANAPOLIS–Justin Beiber has lyme disease. He talked about his diagnosis this week. A doctor in Indianapolis says you should know what to do to keep from getting it yourself, and that may involved wearing extra clothes and giving yourself a once over.

“It’s uncommon in Indiana,” said Dr. Christopher Belcher, Director of Pediatric Infectious Disease, at St. Vincent Hospital. “They tend to be deer ticks that carry it. And, in fact, it’s becoming a little more widespread.”

Belcher described it as a bacterial infection.

“The tick has to be on for 24 hours or more to transmit the bacteria that cause lyme disease,” he said. “So, if you are out and you do your tick check at the end of the day, you can prevent the transmission of lyme disease.”

He said the first symptoms will happen around a couple of weeks after transmission and include a bulls eye rash, at first, then headaches, flu-like symptoms, not feeling well. 

“And then there’s later findings, things like reashes throughout the body, Bell’s Palsy, which is a facial droop.”

The disease could eventually involved carditis and meningitis, which can be fatal.

But, because it’s a bacterial infection, it can be treated with antibiotics. Even though you may have heard some celebrities like Avril Lavigne or Daryl Hall, talking about lasting effects, Belcher said that generally does not happen.

Belcher said the best way to avoid lyme disease is to avoid tick bites. Check for ticks if you are out in the woods or tall grass. Belcher suggests wearing long sleeves, a hat, and tucking your pants into your socks. He says use repellant on your clothes and skin.

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