Lyme Disease Transmission
During Pregnancy and While Breastfeeding
Lyme disease acquired during pregnancy may lead to infection of the placenta and possibly a stillbirth; however, no negative effects on the fetus have been found when the mother receives appropriate antibiotic treatment. There are no reports of Lyme disease transmission from breast milk.
Although no cases of Lyme disease have been linked to blood transfusions, scientists have found that the bacterium that causes Lyme disease can survive in blood that is stored for donation. As a precaution, the American Red Cross and the US Food and Drug Administration ask that persons with chronic illness due to Lyme disease do not donate blood. Lyme disease patients who have been treated with antibiotics and have recovered can donate blood beginning 12 months after the last dose of antibiotics was taken.
Although dogs and cats can get Lyme disease, there is no evidence that they spread the disease directly to their owners. However, pets can bring infected ticks into your home or yard, thus contributing to the possibility of Lyme disease. Consider protecting your pet, and possibly yourself, through the use of tick control products for animals.
You will not get Lyme disease from eating venison or squirrel meat, but in keeping with general food safety principles, meat should always be cooked thoroughly. Note that hunting and dressing deer or squirrels may bring you into close contact with infected ticks, which can put you at risk of being infected.
There is no credible evidence that transmission of Lyme disease can occur through air, food, water, or from the bites of mosquitoes, flies, fleas, or lice.