Outdoor Safety 2-lyme disease


Black Legged Deer Tick Sometimes carries Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease Awareness Month

By Steve Stone

When Patricia Zieverink of Rolesville fell ill in October 2008, she had no idea what she was in for.  Zieverink was career oriented and lived life at 110% all the time.  Her days running marathons ended when seemingly unrelated illness after illness struck.  None of the doctors did anything but treat the symptoms.  It took her 8 doctors and over a year before she finally managed to get a doctor to test her for Lyme disease.  She had it.  She still does.  If caught early, Lyme can often be stopped, but a few months delay can make it a permanent condition.

Lyme disease is like a dirty secret in NC.  For some reason, the state doesn’t recognize it’s presence, even though the CDC reports over 1,120 confirmed cases in the past 15 years and estimates ten missed for each reported.  The Lyme Disease Foundation, created in Wake County in 2002 has received thousands of emails from people going through the same refusals as Zieverink. Many NC doctors will not test or treat Lyme disease.

Recent efforts have been made to change the state’s mind.  A grass roots campaign has gone to each town in Wake County and gotten all 12 of the municipalities to proclaim June as Lyme Disease Awareness Month.  Making Doctors and sufferers aware of the issue is half the battle. 

Lyme disease is hard to detect.  The clinical test shows false positives and false negatives, and the symptoms can vary from person to person.  If you are bitten by a tick, save it in a jar in the freezer labelled with the date you removed it. They can test a tick for Lyme disease. Demand your doctor test you, and ask for antibiotics, even if you are symptom free.  Don’t allow yourself to be a victim.

NC Lyme Disease Foundation - www.nclyme.org

Tick-borne Infections Council - www.tic-nc.org

Lyme Disease Association - www.lymediseaseassociation.org

US Center For Disease Control - www.cdc.gov/ticks/diseases/index.html

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