We all have heard of it, but what is Lyme disease? Why is Lyme disease a danger to our health and how can someone contract it? What are the symptoms of the disease? How are we able to cure it? These are all important questions to ask, especially when we don’t hear about it frequently.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. A vector-borne disease is any agent that carries and transmits an infectious pathogen into another living organism. It is most commonly transmitted to humans by getting bite by infected ticks. The ticks get the bacterium by biting infected animals. After one- four weeks of the initial bite, most people will experience some type of symptoms. About 70-80% of cases develop a rash called erythema migrans. Others receive flu-like symptoms that include fever, chills, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, or muscle aches.
Why is Lyme disease a danger?
Why is Lyme disease a danger? Because of long term effects that can hurt your mobility and cognitive skills while causing extreme lifestyle changes and emotional stress. If not treated the infection can spread to the joints, heart, and even the nervous system. If the infection progresses to the chronic stage, symptoms continue for weeks, months, or even years after the initial bite.
Treatments & Safety Precautions
Although the disease is treatable with antibiotics, some people don’t fully recover after treatment. Those in the latter stages of the disease might require intravenous antibiotics. Doctors can diagnose the disease by a blood sample, spinal tap, or skin biopsy. Knowing this how can we act ahead of schedule to help prevent being bitten by ticks? One way is to avoid wooded areas where ticks are known to be, especially during the months of May to July. You can also use insect repellent which contains DEET or permethrin to help the insects run away. Shower after being outside and inspect yourself for any ticks that might have latched on.
If you or a loved one might have contracted Lyme disease it is important that you visit your primary care physician. Your insurance coverage should cover the standard antibiotic treatment, but you should talk to your Insurance agent to confirm!
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