MONTGOMERY, Ala. — With Lyme disease on the rise in Alabama, doctors are urging their patients to take some extra precautions if they are spending time outdoors this summer.
Lyme disease is transmitted by lxodes ticks, also known as deer ticks.
Dr. Shaikh Wahid told WSFA-TV that some of the most common symptoms are flu-like symptoms including fatigue, weight loss or gain, rashes. He says while many associate Lyme disease with a bullseye rash, that is not always the case.
“In the summer months, we have more outdoor activities,” said Wahid. “We expose ourselves to them more often than anything else.”
About 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Doctors say there are different ways to protect yourself from ticks such as wearing long sleeves and pants along with wearing bug spray.
“Cover yourself adequately so that the ticks cannot reach your skin,” said Wahid. “When you come home and take your clothes off, leave it outside and check your body.”
Jen Tuck was diagnosed with Lyme disease last year. She found herself out of work for nearly a year due to complications with the disease.
“I was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and a couple of others and I don’t have any of those things. They thought maybe I had MS, or maybe I had ALS,” said Tuck.
Tuck added: “My legs gave out, they wouldn’t hold me up. I would stand up and pass out, and it got to the point where I couldn’t function, sometimes my words would slur.”
Information from: WSFA-TV, http://www.wsfa.com/