More people speaking out about chronic Lyme Disease
Kansas City, MO – Avril Levigne, Alec Baldwin, and most recently Justin Bieber have all opened up about their diagnosis with Lyme Disease. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 300,000 people are infected through tick bites each year.
Dr Dana Hawkinson, Infectious Disease Physician with the University of Kansas Health System says, “If an infection occurs, you could start to see an expanding bulls-eye rash that can take up to 14 days to appear. That’s accompanied by possible fatigue, muscle and joint aches, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and lack of appetite.”
If left untreated, he says the disease can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system causing swelling, severe joint pain, and neurological issues.
An antibiotic can cure most Lyme Disease cases, according to Dr Hawkinson, but many report chronic Lyme Disease, with symptoms lasting six months or longer.
“They have different manifestations such as fatigue, such as joint aches as well. That is a continued topic of research,” says Dr Hawkinson. He says Lyme Disease hasn’t historically been a big issue in the Kansas City area, but there are more common diseases or bacterial infections that can come from a tick bite, such as Ehrlichiosis Infection or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Both can cause flue like symptoms, including fever and vomiting. According to the CDC, RMSF is considered the most serious tick-borne illness in the United States and could be deadly. You can reduce the risk by wearing protective clothing and promptly removing a tick.