‘MAY: LYME DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH’
This month of May might have been usually cool and kept us less active with outdoor activities, but there is one particular creepy crawly that thinks the weather is just fine. Hungry for a meal those nasty little bloodsucking arachnids- the size of a poppy seed are back, carrying with them the threat of Lyme disease, an illness characterized by high fever, headaches, fatigue and skin rash.
Don’t be fooled into believing that the tick that causes this disease is a resident only of Wisconsin and other states with a more rugged wilderness like terrain. The CDC acknowledges that new cases of Lyme disease are reported yearly from every state in the union. Western Illinois residents should educate themselves about this debilitating disease, its symptoms and ways to avoid being bitten by ticks, the carriers of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease.
“The good news- a few preventative measures can drastically reduce your chances of contracting Lyme disease,” said Dr. Jonathan Lindo, MD. “There is no need to avoid being outside this spring if you’re willing to be proactive in avoiding tick bites.”
The Blacklegged ticks, or deer ticks are the main carriers of Lyme disease and are especially active in May, June and July. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, cdc.gov, offers a few simple suggestions on how to avoid being bitten.
Now that it looks as though the weather has finally broken, and you find yourself in the out of doors, regular tick checks are extremely important. If you are bitten, SAVE THE TICK as it can be tested for signs of the Lyme bacterium. Also, the CDC recommends monitoring your health closely and contacting your physician for possible prophylactic care. Till next time, Rebecca