Lyme Disease Awareness
Have you been asking yourself this summer, “how common is lyme disease?” As the weather gets warmer across New England, we’re spending more and more time outdoors. Many of us are walking and hiking, attending picnics or BBQs, and generally having fun in the sun! We already know that ticks become more active in the summer and can spread disease, such as Lyme. But exactly how common is Lyme Disease? Should all of us in Springfield, Enfield, and the surrounding areas be worried about this potential health risk?
What is Lyme Disease?
A bacterial disease, Lyme is transmitted when infected ticks bite into skin and transfer the bacteria into the bloodstream. According to the CDC, two types of ticks in the U.S. can carry Lyme Disease. These include the western-legged (found on the west coast) and black-legged (also known as deer ticks, found in the northeast and midatlantic).
What are the Symptoms?
Early symptoms include a rash, which may appear as a bull’s-eye (though not all symptoms develop a rash). Later symptoms include fever and chills, headaches, stiff neck, meningitis or inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.
While antibiotics can be used to treat Lyme in the short term, patients may experience “post-treatment Lyme Disease” where they continue to suffer from symptoms, such as chronic fatigue.
How Common is Lyme Disease?
Approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme Disease are reported every year. However, because many cases go unreported or undiagnosed, the CDC estimates that this number could be as high as 300,000, with most cases concentrated in the northeast and upper midwest.
Of course, those who spend a lot of time outdoors are the most likely to encounter ticks, and your chance of a tick bite will increase if you don’t take precautions.
If you have any questions or are interested in having a professional tick treatment done on your property, feel free to give Graduate a call.