Lyme Disease On The Rise As Tick Epidemic Spreads Across America
Kaleigh M January 6th 2016 Lifestyle
Today, many lack any knowledge about the dreadful illness known as Lyme Disease. Named for the city in Connecticut where it was first diagnosed, this disease has recently been gaining recognition in the news. Defined by the Mayo Clinic, Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. The most common tick-borne illness in North America and Europe, Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected blacklegged deer tick. According to the CDC, there are typically an average of 20-30,000 cases diagnosed per year; however, there has been a recent increase in such cases. Within the past few years, there have been an average of about 300,000 diagnosed cases of Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses in the United States. This drastic increase is centered in the North-Eastern and Upper Midwestern States. The states included in this demographic section have been known to host a majority of ticks that carry diseases.
So why this drastic increase? In addition to the patients being diagnosed or suffering from associated symptoms, the CDC is questioning this new fact as well. Due to this jump in numbers, the CDC has conducted a variety of tests and research studies in order to understand. The CDC has identified the increase with misdiagnoses. As the knowledge of Lyme and tick-borne illnesses has recently increased, the number of diagnoses has increased along with it. A large percentage of the individuals recently diagnosed have been previously told they were dealing with other illnesses rather than Lyme - making both diagnoses and treatment incorrect and ineffective. Patients such as these have spent time traveling across the country seeing specialist after specialist in order to find some relief. The video interviews Dorrann Mora, a patient diagnosed with Lyme Disease since she was a teenager - who has spent countless hours and money being misdiagnosed, later to find that she had Lyme Disease the whole time.
With the increasing studies being conducted, the CDC predicts that for every 10 cases of Lyme Diseased in the United States, only 1 has been diagnosed. Thats a pretty scary thought when you think about it. With this knowledge, many are worried and wondering what they can do to insure their protection. The key to insuring you are free of Lyme Disease is early detection. When the doctors are able to catch Lyme early enough, a simple course of oral antibiotics has been known to cure the patient. Early symptoms include a target-like rash, flu, fever, headaches, and fatigue. If one is not diagnosed in the early stages of a tick-borne illness, the disease will continue to the late stages. Symptoms in the late stages of a tick-borne illness are more severe, including joint paint, neurological issues, and even heart problems.