New estimates just released by CDC studies indicate that Lyme Disease is diagnosed approximately 10x more frequently than previously thought, around 300,000 cases per year as opposed to the 30,000 previously reported. This doesn’t include the individuals who are not diagnosed or misdiagnosed or those that have not yet exhibited symptoms of the disease. The majority of cases occur in the Northeast or northern Midwest regions. In addition, there are many other tick-borne diseases that often go undiagnosed. CDC has called Lyme a “tremendous public health problem” and indicates that additional prevention steps should be undertaken, including tick reduction in communities.
For those who work outdoors, and especially in areas with high vegetation, ticks are a constant pest and concern. The CDC webpage offers good information regarding disease transmission, symptoms, treatment and prevention
One of our clients whose daughter suffered with chronic Lyme Disease tells his story which is compelling and can be viewed on you-tube in two parts, below.
So what can you do to protect yourself from this debilitating disease?
CDC recommends the following to help prevent and provide early detection of Lyme disease:
- Wear repellent – 20-30% DEET on exposed skin, follow product directions, or Permethrin on clothing only
- Check for ticks daily and know the proper removal method (tweezers or a tick remover)
- Shower soon after being outdoors (this is to wash off any ticks that may be on you and not yet attached)
- Wash and dry work clothes in a hot dryer
- Know and recognize the symptoms of Lyme Disease and seek medical attention if you exhibit:
- a characteristic skin rash, called erythema migrans
- chills and fever
- muscle and joint pain
- swollen lymph nodes
Additional support and information can be found from many Lyme Disease groups, including:
Article by Laurie Delaski, CIH