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Understanding The Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment Of Lyme Disease: Part 1

August 25, 2017
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As summer begins to come to an end, many people feel as though their risk for developing tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme Disease significantly decreases. However, the camping season extends well into September and even October, and as long as the weather is warm enough for ticks to survive, there’s a chance of contracting Lyme Disease. And unlike other illnesses such as the flu, which between 5% and 20% of Americans come down with each year, Lyme Disease will not go away on its own and requires prompt medical tests. Here’s what you need to know about Lyme Disease symptoms and medical care.

Risk Factors
Although Lyme Disease is most common in the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, and Upper Midwest regions of the United States, it’s entirely possible to contract it in southern states as well — even Arizona. In fact, it was only a few years ago (2013) that health advocacy group LEAP officially acknowledged a risk for Lyme Disease in the state.

The fact is anyone exposed to the outdoors or wilderness has a chance at developing Lyme Disease. While many people think of the main symptom as being a ‘bull’s eye-like’ rash, the majority of people who contract the disease don’t have a rash with that pattern, and most people don’t even recall getting a tick bite in the first place. But it’s important to remember that a tick has to be attached to the skin for at least 24 hours to transmit the infection, so the best way to prioritize prevention is to wear long sleeves when possible and check yourself thoroughly after taking a walk in the woods or being outdoors for a prolonged period of time.

Symptoms: Stages One And Two
Experts classify the symptoms of the disease into three separate categories depending on how much it has progressed. The earliest symptom of Lyme Disease is the aforementioned bull’s eye rash formally known as erythema migrans. At stage two, people who have Lyme Disease will start to experience the more painful symptoms, such as a sore throat, muscle and joint aches, fever and chills, vision changes, and fatigue.

Ultimately, educating yourself and being aware of Lyme Disease symptoms and risk factors is the best way to stay protected. Keep an eye out for the next post, where we’ll discuss the late-stage symptoms of Lyme Disease and the medical tests needed to properly diagnose it. For more information about medical care, contact AFC/Doctors Express.