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Feel Like You Have A Summertime 'Flu'? It Could Be Lyme Disease
Date:7/31/2014

Stamford, CT (PRWEB) July 31, 2014

You’re having a wonderful summer—sunning, gardening, enjoying BBQs with family and friends. So why have you suddenly developed chills and fever, headache, stiff neck, achey joints, and a feeling of total exhaustion? If you suspect a flu-like illness, it could actually be the first sign of Lyme disease.

Your risk of developing Lyme is greater than you might think. Until last year, it was estimated that about 30,000 new cases occurred in the U.S. annually. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised that figure last August, reporting that Lyme infects 10 times more Americans—or 300,000 people every year. Ticks can also spread other diseases, including anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and the extremely rare Powassan virus.

There’s still no accurate way to test for Lyme, especially in its early stages. Many people associate the disease with the familiar bull’s-eye rash, but less than 50 percent actually develop one. “That’s why if you develop what seems like a summertime 'flu'—even a few weeks or a couple of months after being in rural or suburban areas—it’s important you see a doctor and get tested for Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses,” said Diane Blanchard, co-president of Lyme Research Alliance (LRA). “However, since tests for Lyme may be falsely negative or falsely positive, Lyme should be diagnosed clinically based upon a doctor’s evaluation of your symptoms and exposure to ticks.”

June to early August are prime times for ticks because the insect-like creatures are in their hungry “nymph” stage. Their tiny size (smaller than the
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