What Exactly Is Lyme Disease?

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First documented in Lyme, Connecticut, in the early 1970s, this disease has taken strong root in the northeastern United States, and the Midwest, with over 30,000 cases being reported to the CDC every year. But many of those cases go unreported. This is because most people don't know what Lyme disease is, how it is transmitted, and what signs to look for. Here are some questions you should know the answers to when it comes to Lyme disease.

"How is Lyme disease transmitted?"

The primary vector for Lyme disease is the blacklegged tick, also referred to as the deer tick. This tick does not live on deer only, as its name would imply, it is a very small creature, especially when it is a larva, and can be found on very small animals, including mice and birds. Its connection to birds make this tick--and this disease--very hard to track.

"Is Lyme disease serious?"

Initial symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, chills, muscle aches, fatigue, sweats, joint pain, and nausea, or a Bell's palsy type drooping of the face. Late stage, or chronic Lyme disease, is characterized by muscle pain, neurological complications, fatigue, joint pain, cognitive impairment, and other symptoms that significantly overlap with the symptoms of illnesses such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, ALS, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease, which makes Lyme disease hard to track accurately. Conclusive studies also show a link to heart, brain, and nervous system complications due to chronic Lyme disease.

"Is there a cure for Lyme disease?"

This disease can be treated if caught early.

"How can I know if I have Lyme disease?"

Lyme disease often produces a circular rash around the bite wound. This is often referred to as a bullseye rash. But this rash does not always form and this is another one of the reasons Lyme disease is sometimes misdiagnosed by doctors. There is also sometimes muscle drooping in the face, similar to Bell's palsy, as mentioned above.

"Is there a way to reduce my chances of getting Lyme disease?"

Limiting exposure to ticks is the best way to reduce the threat of Lyme disease. When you go out into nature, consider tucking your socks into your pants and applying a repellent with DEET to your pant legs. If you plan to spend any time in your yard, consider getting routine tick treatments to protect you, your kids, and your pets from bringing these dangerous ticks inside the house. And be sure to regularly check for ticks. It takes 24 to 48 hours for Lyme disease to be transmitted through a tick bite and that is enough time to get that tick off and wash the area with soapy water.

Don't take chances with Lyme disease. Protect yourself when you go out, and let a professional home pest control company protect your yard. Lyme disease is one disease you can live without. Take action against Lyme disease and ticks with Action Pest Control.

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