On May 10 2016, Project Lyme launched to raise awareness on the most common vector-borne illness in the United States of America. This is the first organization of its kind, and its purpose is to stop the spread of tick bites. Project Lyme will show the world what are the preventive means through which individuals can avoid being bitten by ticks.
The non-profit organization was founded by Heather Hearst. Heather was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 1986. Ms. Hearst was bed stricken for almost a year, being extremely sick. Although her case was severe, being diagnosed in the early stage ensured her recovery. Today, Heather Hearst launched Project Lyme to help others not to experience the same ordeal she did. May is also Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and related events will be taking place.
Project Lyme launched to raise awareness of the disease, and it aims to teach people the following things, among others:
- Where ticks live;
- What to do before you go outside: from what clothes to wear to what repellant you should use;
- Learn how to check yourself for ticks;
- How to remove a tick in the correct way;
- How to recognize symptoms;
- How to keep your pets from harm as well.
Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a tick-borne parasite. It is transmitted to humans and pets through bite. The number of tick borne diseases is huge in the US because they are spread by nine species of ticks.
Lyme symptoms can be hard to spot, because it can mimic those of other diseases. The rash caused by the tick bite also goes undetected, especially on dark skin tones. Symptoms include: nausea, fatigue, headaches and many other.
Most cases, if detected early, can be treated with antibiotics. However, some patients suffer the symptoms for many years. The tests to detect the disease are unreliable because antibodies show up a month after the person was infected. This is why it is so hard to diagnose.
Because Project Lyme is educating people on the importance of prevention, there are no excuses not to take the necessary precaution actions. With such a high access to information and resources, it is easier to spot the symptoms and find medical help early on.
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