Lyme disease is still a risk even in winter

Health

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread by ticks that live on deer and despite it being winter, it is possible to be infected this time of year.

Symptoms include fever, fatigue, and a rash on your skin that looks like a bulls-eye.

It’s common for people to not even notice it and that could lead to more severe complications.

30,000 cases are reported annually in the U.S. but according to the CDC, the actual number of cases is actually 10 times that.

Dr. Ira Helfand of Family Care Medical Center told 22News that Lyme disease transmitted via bullseye rash from ticks may go unnoticed.

“The rash doesn’t itch or hurt so if you have a tick bite on your lower back you may not notice its there. So there are many people who get Lyme disease and never see the rash. I had Lyme this past year and I didn’t notice the rash.”

-Dr. Ira Helfand, Family Care Medical Center

There is a blood test you can take that shows if you have Lyme disease or if you’d had it in the past.

It’s very rare for people to die from Lyme disease but your risk goes up if you never seek treatment. After taking an antibiotic, the infection will be cured in two to three weeks.

There is still no human vaccine for Lyme disease, but there is one available for dogs.

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