Lyme disease has become a problem of increasing frequency throughout the Northeast. There is an unfortunate amount of misinformation about this disease floating around, so let’s look at the facts.
Lyme disease is spread through tick bites when the tick is infected with Borrelia Burgdorferi. Throughout the mid-Atlantic, northeastern and the north-central US, the black-legged / deer tick is a common carrier. When the infected tick bites a human, it infects them by spreading the bacteria into the bloodstream. This can cause a wide range of serious medical issues and potential long-term health problems.
Common treatments include oral antibiotics, and more severe treatments can intravenously use penicillin. If left untreated, serious issues such as memory problems, nerve pain and inflammation of the spinal cord / brain can develop.
Delayed treatment of Lyme Disease can lead to long-term health issues. As soon as any troublesome symptoms emerge after a tick bite or being exposed to nature, it is important to get checked out by a doctor.
Being cautious when outdoors can help to prevent Lyme Disease. When camping, hiking, or spending time in a wooded area, it is a good idea to cover yourself with long sleeves, long pants, gloves and a closed shoe. Preventively use a bug spray with a DEET concentration of at least 20% for extra protection. In your backyard, you can help prevent ticks by removing tree limbs and debris. Anytime you spend time in or near the woods; you should also conduct a thorough inspection of your skin.
If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms or are concerned that you may have been bitten by a tick, head into Frontline ER.