Tips to Prevent Getting an Infectious Disease While on Vacation

Dr. Brent W. Laartz thought he was in for the ride of his lifetime when he set out on a horseback riding excursion in Costa Rica.

Admittedly younger and more naïve than he is today, Laartz – an infectious disease specialist and author of the book How to Avoid Contagious Diseases…

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Lyme Disease part 1: Signs and Symptoms

Question, are you aware of the signs and symptoms of that arise after being bitten by a tick?

According to the CDC, Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacterium is usually found heavily wooded or grassy areas where mice and deer live including lawns and gardens. Most commonly found in the Northeast, the Pacific Northwest, and the northern Midwest states. It is often carried to people by deer ticks which pick up the bacterium when they bite infected animals and then infect humans by biting them and passing the bacteria into the person’s bloodstream.

It is very important to know what symptoms to watch out for when dealing with Lyme disease since these critters can easily be overlooked. Ticks are very small, immature ticks, or nymphs, are about the size of a poppy seed. Adult ticks are about the size of a sesame seed.

Signs and Symptoms
Lyme disease can start up at any time from a few days up to a month after the initial bite. Here are some symptoms to look out for:

  • A round red rash with a “bull’s eye” appearance, usually occurs 1-2 weeks of infection and can get very large
  • Flu-like symptoms are very common, occur along with the rash and often appear within weeks after the tick bite. In the early stage, people may feel very tired, lethargic; have headaches, sore muscles and joints.

If Lyme disease is left untreated, more serious symptoms will occur over time.

Some symptoms may include:

  • Arthritis-like swelling and joint pain
  • Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
  • Lack of energy
  • A lapse in memory
  • Weakness or facial paralysis
With such symptoms, it is very important to call the doctor if at any point it is believed that your child could be at risk for the disease. With other illnesses or conditions which display similar symptoms, it is always best to be safe than sorry.

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Comment by Jessie Nuez on August 31, 2010 at 9:41am
Thank you so much for telling your story. I decided to write about the topic simply because it is often not talked about and more times than not misdiagnosed as it was in your case. I find it that as a mom we are often not properly informed of things that can be harmful to ourselves and our families. This is why as you stated, we must educate ourselves and protect ourselves and our families
Comment by Loretta Boelkins on August 29, 2010 at 5:22pm
I am a blogger with chronic Lyme- my entire family is infected and none of us ever saw a tick, or had the rash!! My symptoms came and went, intensified....I was told it was fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue, and was mistreated for more than a decade. By the time I finally got a Lyme diagnosis, it was really too late. In treatment all of us have improved, but the horriffic pain and mind-numbing fatigue will never leave. My son was diagnosed after being told his knee pain was 'growing pains'.....thank God by then I knew the signs and insisted on proper testing thru Igenex. Sorry if I am writing a book here.....but this never had to be this way for my family.

Don't let them tell you there is no Lyme in your state- it is everywhere! Educate yourself, and if you know anyone diagnosed with fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, ALS, MS, etc., continue to question and get testing done!

Thanks for bringing this forward.

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