Letter: Lyme Awareness Month

Letter to the Editor,

Borreliosis (better known as Lyme) is spread by the bite of a tick, which can be small as the period at the end of this sentence. May is Lyme Awareness Month. Borreliosis is the greatest vector borne disease, with over 300,000 new cases in the US each year. It is now in epidemic proportions in the US and reported in 49 of our 50 states and is as serious worldwide. Current testing is unreliable and only approximately 50 percent of cases include the classic “bullseye” rash.

Most doctors in this area, unfortunately, are not properly trained to recognize or treat Lyme. Lyme is called “The Great Imitator” as it can be confused and misdiagnosed as arthritis, MS, Parkinson’s, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, as well as other diseases, even Alzheimer’s. Remember the symptoms (which include but are not limited to joint and muscle pain, swelling of the knees, irregular heartbeat, terrible fatigue, sharp shooting pains, low grade fever, headaches, brain fog, all of which may come and go) can be different in each individual depending where the borrelia attack your body.

You know your body better than anyone and when you feel the diagnosis may be incorrect, keep looking until you find someone who will listen to you and consider all the various symptoms. This is what I had to do.

Ticks are most active May through October, at temperatures above 70 degrees, but may be found throughout the year. Ticks can be found just about anywhere as migrating birds can bring them into your yard. Wear repellants specifically for ticks, along with proper clothing (long sleeve shirts, pants tucked into your sock, shoes and a hat). Learn how to properly remove ticks should you find one.

More information can be found at www.lymedisease.org or www.ilads.org.

Glen Myers
Atwood, Il