How Much Do You Know About Lyme Disease?

Most people don’t give Lyme disease a lot of thought. If you ask them about it, they’ll probably tell you that it’s something that you get from ticks and from hanging out in woodsy areas. While these things are true, there’s a whole lot more to know about Lyme disease, and what we don’t know could kill us.

Lyme Disease Facts

Now that the weather has warmed up, we’re all spending a lot more time out of doors than we did over the winter. While this is usually a good thing for our health, it’s important that we take some security measures to keep ourselves and our family safe this summer. Here are some facts about Lyme disease that will help you play safely this season:

  • Lyme disease is carried by blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no other tick is capable of carrying the disease.
  • There were almost 30,000 cases of Lyme disease in 2009, and according to recent research, those numbers are expected to climb.
  • Your risk of developing the tick-borne disease varies by location. In some places one in four deer ticks carry the disease. In others the numbers could be one in 100.
  • If you remove the tick within 24 hours of being bitten, the danger of infection decreases dramatically. Use tweezers to remove the bug entirely from your body.
  • The longer the disease goes untreated the more severe your symptoms can become. Bell’s palsy, arthritis and irregular heartbeats have been linked to untreated Lyme disease.
  • Lyme disease is rarely fatal. If you treat it with antibiotics in the early stages of the disease, it almost always disappears with no symptoms.
  • If you have arthritis, irregular heartbeat or Bell’s palsy, ask your doctor to test you for Lyme disease antibodies. It’s possible that an old infection could be causing your current pains.
  • Most Lyme disease cases (97 percent) occur in the northeastern and north central parts of the United States. 
  • Lyme disease cannot be passed on from one person to another. If two family members develop the tick-borne disease, they probably contracted it together at the same time.
  • Your pets can catch Lyme disease too. It’s important to use tick killing products on your animals regularly, especially if you live in the northeastern or north central parts of the U.S.

Lyme disease is becoming increasingly common in this country. If you spend any amount of time outdoors or if you live in an area that’s prone to deer ticks, talk to your primary care physician or your chiropractic team to find out what the risks are and whether or not you should be tested. While Lyme disease is rarely fatal, it can cause lifelong problems that sap your energy. Don’t take a chance with Lyme disease. A little bit of prevention now could save you a lot of pain in the future.

 

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