All About Lyme


If you’ve ever watched the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, you might have come across Yolanda Hadid. Hadid is the former wife of musician David Foster and the mom of famous models, Bella and Gigi Hadid. She also mentioned on the show that she has Lyme Disease.

Curious fans may ask– what exactly is Lyme Disease?

Definition

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines Lyme Disease as a vector-borne illness. It is a disease caused by bacteria transmitted through black-legged ticks. Some signs and symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and skin rash.

Erythema migrans (EM) rash is one of the early signs that you may have contracted the disease. This rash may appear on any area of the body; around 70 to 80 percent of people infected with the disease may show this symptom. It is characterized by an itchy or painful feeling and sometimes, a “bull’s eye” appearance as it enlarges.

As the disease progresses, more symptoms can be felt. From several days to a few months after a Lyme-carrier tick bite, a person may experience drooping of one or both sides of the face, severe headache, and heart palpitations. The person may also feel dizziness, shortness of breathing, and inflammation of the brain and spine.

Harvard Health Publishing stresses the prevalence of the disease in the United States. In a journal published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is mentioned that around20,000-30,000 cases of the ailment are reported each year.

Causes

It is important to ask why the disease is so common to prevent yourself from contracting the disease.

As mentioned by the CDC, it is commonly transferred through the bite of a tick. This tick is commonly found in deer but can also live on other hosts such as birds and rodents. EPA also mentioned that climate change contributes to the spread of the disease; as the temperature increases, so does the number of ticks.

CDC adds that although pets such as dogs and cats may contract the disease, there are no studies yet that link the spread of the disease from pet to owner. Yet, as they go around in different areas of the home and backyard, they may carry the tick with them.

Ticks are commonly found resting in the backyard, waiting for their hosts. As they cannot fly or jump, they stay on the tip of grass or shrub while their legs are outstretched, waiting to attach to a host.

Person-to-person transmission is not yet proven by studies. Thus, people who have contracted the disease do not need to avoid kissing, touching, or having sex.

Cure

As with any form of illness, early diagnosis is the best way to treat Lyme disease fast and successfully. The disease usually goes away with antibiotics. Within two to four weeks, the illness will be gone with early treatment and diagnoses.

However, there is a condition known as Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome. This condition usually happens after a person with Lyme disease has finished treatment. Symptoms include pain, fatigue, and poor concentration. Around 10 to 20 percent of individuals with Lyme disease have experienced this condition.

At present, the cause for this condition is yet to be discovered; there is no cure found for it as well. However, patients can consult a doctor to manage the condition and help alleviate the symptoms.

Prevention

Early diagnosis and treatment are great, but prevention is always better.

The best way to prevent a tick from staying in your backyard is to call home tick control services. This ensures that your home is tick-free. Mowing your lawn regularly can also prevent ticks from staying in your backyard. In general, having a clean home is necessary to prevent pests like rodents from carrying ticks to your house.

However, you can’t always control your environment, especially when you are going outdoors. This is when using insect repellent is necessary. When camping or going to grassy areas, it is also a good precautionary measure to wear shoes and long pants. If traveling with a pet, it might also be a good idea to keep your pet away from the bushes and long grass.

Eating venison or squirrel meat has not been linked to catching the disease. However, it’s always good to cook the meat well to prevent yourself from catching other ailments. But consuming is different from hunting, and dressing tick-infested animals may bring you into contact with the infected tick.

The best way to prevent any form of disease is knowledge. By knowing what causes these ailments lets you take proper measures to keep you safe and healthy.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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