Now that spring has arrived, so has tick season! They reemerge once the weather starts warming up and are more than a simple nuisance. They harbor Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection primarily transmitted by deer ticks (in the Northeast and Midwest) and black-legged ticks (on the Pacific Coast). Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose, so it is important to know the signs, symptoms and risks of the infection in order to keep you and your loved ones safe this tick season.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
One of the telltale signs of Lyme disease is a red, expanding skin rash. Typically, this rash will begin at the bite site and grow outward in a circle. Sometimes, the rash will fade as it grows, leaving irritation which resembles a bullseye. While common, a rash is not always present in a person with Lyme disease. Other symptoms include flu-like symptoms, facial muscle weakness, fainting, chest pain, severe headache and shooting joint pain.
When to Seek Care
Thoroughly checking your skin after spending time outdoors during tick season is vital because the longer that the tick is on your skin, the higher your chance of contracting Lyme disease. However, if you develop any Lyme disease symptoms and have been bitten by or exposed to ticks, it is important to take a Lyme disease test as soon as possible. Remember, many people who develop Lyme disease do not realize that they have been bitten by a tick. If you have been outside in an area where ticks are prevalent and develop these symptoms, assume that you’ve been bitten and walk in to Any Lab Test Now to be tested.
Untreated Lyme Disease
Most cases of Lyme disease can be successfully treated with a dose of antibiotics. If Lyme disease remains untreated, however, it can spread to other parts of the body from several months to a year after the initial infection. This spreading can cause a variety of long-term health problems such as arthritis and nervous system problems. In severe untreated cases, Lyme disease can be fatal.
Don’t be ticked off by Lyme disease! Stay safe this year and be sure to check your skin for ticks after being outside. If you think you may have been bitten, visit your local Any Lab Test Now to be tested.