Lyme Disease Science

August 10, 2017

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Lyme Disease Science

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Have you ever spent a day exploring the outdoors and suddenly felt something crawling slowly across your skin? You brush it with your hand and notice it doesn’t easily come off your body. You pull at it with your fingers and feel little legs. Fear hits you as you make the realization that a tick is in yScreen Shot 2016-04-06 at 11.41.47 AMour hands.

Ticks are small, parasitic arachnids that might as well be called crawling disease factories. They carry a number of infectious diseases described in more detail below. But one disease ticks transmit gets more attention than any other: Lyme disease.

Lyme Disease gets its name from Lyme, Connecticut where it was first described. The video explains that spirochetes infect the human body and cause the disease. Spirochetes are bacteria that get into the blood stream and burrow in for good. They are transmitted through the mouth of a biting deer, dog, or wood tick, all of which are common ticks in the Upper Midwest.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 11.44.59 AMWhat are the symptoms of Lyme Disease? Many, but not all, victims of Lyme Disease first notice a red “bulls-eye” rash around the site of a bite. Flu-like symptoms develop next which may be dismissed as some other type of illness. If left unnoticed, Lyme disease may cause much more sinister symptoms ranging from severe headaches and joint pain to psychological problems and an inability to move. Lyme Disease, if not treated, can be fatal.

If Lyme Disease mimics other illnesses, how does someone who does not develop a bulls-eye rash know they have the disease? The answer is that they get tested. Two types of tests are commonly used, the Eliza Test and the Western Blot. As the video explains, these tests are not always reliable.

Many treScreen Shot 2016-04-06 at 11.44.24 AMatments can be effective at slowing the negative impacts of Lyme disease. Doctors may provide antibiotics and other medication that can be helpful. Some doctors, however, hesitate to provide treatment options without a positive test. The best method to stop Lyme disease, as the video mentions, is to prevent contracting it in the first place.

The video finishes by explaining how to avoid Lyme Disease. Stay away from areas with tall grass and wear white clothing that makes ticks more visible. Watch carefully for symptoms to appear and get in touch with a trained Lyme-literate practitioner who will be able to accurately identify the disease.

Remember to visit the educational partner who supported this video and content to learn even more health tips.


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