This year’s weather pattern of warmer weather in areas where it is usually colder means more cases of Lyme Disease.
The CDC and Prevention says 95 percent of all Lyme cases are in 12 states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maine and Virginia.
But Lyme disease is spreading, said Todd Barton, associate professor of clinical medicine in the infectious-disease department at the University of Pennsylvania.
Possible reasons include the expansion of suburbia and an increasing population of deer.
A tick must bite someone for several hours before the disease can be transmitted. After being outside, it’s important to check for ticks. If infection occurs, it can usually be treated with a round of antibiotics.
Symptoms that start within days of being bitten by an infected tick are generally flu-like with fever, chills, muscle and joint aching.
About 50 percent of the time those bitten will see an expanding red rash at the site of the tick bite, which often develops an area of central clearing so that the circular area looks like a bulls-eye.
Some individuals will develop facial muscle weakness or paralysis called “Bell’s Palsy” within weeks of a tick bite. Occasionally individuals may develop heart palpitations and irregular beating which can lead to dizziness.
“If untreated,” Dr. Lisa Esolen, Systems Director of Infection Control for Geisinger Health System in Danville said, “Lyme disease symptoms will initially disappear, but up to 60 percent of the time will recur later as an arthritis, usually in the weight bearing joints, knees in particular, and additional nervous system problems like numbness and tingling along one nerve.”
We we have learned first hand you can develop flu like symptoms, stiff neck, severe headache, and Meningitis if the Lyme disease is not treated in the beginning or for a long enough period of time. If you think you have been untreated it is best to visit a Lyme specialist doctor. Lyme disease has been prevalent here in Rhode Island too for many years now.
*Photo from Health.com