Unfortunately, there’s never been a foolproof way to safeguard against ticks. You can take every safety precaution, but there’s nothing on the market right now that guarantees full protection from contracting Lyme disease—but that may all change in the near future.
A new treatment that aims to offer 100 percent protection against Lyme disease is currently in the works at UMass Medical School, according to Western Mass News. Doctors say they are close to finalizing the injection, which has provided complete protection in mice tested at the medical school.
The new treatment is technically not a vaccine, but an injection that administers an antibody that kills the bacteria in ticks before the disease spreads. “In this case, what we’ve done is we’ve honed in on exactly the anti-body that will prevent you from getting lyme disease transmitted to you,” said Dr. Mark Klempner told Western Mass News.
In the U.S. alone, around 329,000 people a year are infected with the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and that number is growing. Instances of Lyme disease have doubled since the 1990s, and the number of areas seen as “high-risk” have increased by 320 percent, according to Vox.
This new shot, which would be administered at the beginning of tick season, would provide six to seven months of immediate protection, according to CBS Boston. Doctors are very confident, and hope FDA trials for the treatment will start next spring. The treatment could be available to the public in two to three years.