As we start to think of fall activities, we wanted to remind you of the risk of Lyme Disease in the Maryland area. According to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 47 new cases of Lyme are contracted daily in Maryland.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease:
According to Johns Hopkins, the Lyme Test misses 75% of the patients infected. This missed diagnosis is due to the Lyme spirochete imbedding in the infected tissue and reproducing at such a rate that it causes the cell wall to collapse. This causes a biofilm to form over the area which works like an invisibility cloak from Harry Potter. This prevents detection by both medical providers and a patient’s own immune system.
Lyme produces a bulls-eyed rash in only about 50% of the patients infected with Lyme. It is also known as the “great imitator,” as it can mimic other diseases, such as: Lupus, Arthritis, MS, fibromyalgia, dementia, ALS, ADD, depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, chronic fatigue, Parkinson’s, and even autism.
If you notice a tick on yourself or your child, be sure to remove it.
How to remove a tick:
- Grasp the tick with pointed tweezers right at the point where its mouth enters the skin.
- Without jerking, pull firmly and steadily backwards from the skin. DO NOT Twist the tick.
- Place the tick in a jar with alcohol in it, this will kill the tick.
- Clean the bite wound with soap and water, then apply an antibacterial ointment.
Check out University of Manitoba’s tick expert Kateryn Rochor’s video on how to properly remove a tick.
We often see patients for swollen joints and pain. If you develop any symptoms at all after a tick bite, see your primary care physician. Tell your doctor about the tick bite. With the significant possibility of Lyme Disease, we highly recommend you see your physician first, then we will be glad to assist you with getting the rid of the joint pain and swelling so that you can use your hand again. You can make an appointment at LB Hand Therapy online.
Your doctor will probably order the Lyme Disease Test, but due to the unreliability of the test, they may start you on antibiotics right away. It is important to take all the antibiotic prescribed as directed. Untreated Lyme can cause a life time of problems from Chronic Lyme Disease, which we’ll cover in another blog.