Knouse says there are a few things that you should know about Lyme disease as you start planning your summer adventures.
1. You don’t have to be in the woods to get a tick bite. It’s a misconception that you have to be in a wooded area to get Lyme disease. Most people contract Lyme disease within just 100 yards of their house. Deer ticks also live in tall grass and can be found on cats and dogs.
2. Not everyone with Lyme disease has a bullseye rash. A bullseye rash is the most well-known symptom associated with Lyme disease, but it’s not always present. The rash, called erythema migrans, is often a telltale sign of Lyme disease, but up to 30 percent of those with Lyme disease never get the rash.
3. Symptoms of Lyme disease can be similar to other conditions. Some doctors refer to Lyme disease as the great imitator because it shares symptoms with several conditions, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and lupus.
4. Diagnosing Lyme disease can be tricky. Because it mimics other conditions, Lyme disease can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. The best method to diagnose Lyme disease is through a two-step blood test, which looks for antibodies made by the body in response to infection.
5. Treatment is available for Lyme disease. The good news is that Lyme disease is highly treatable, especially if caught early. Treatment in early stages is a simple 10-to-14-day course of oral antibiotics. In more severe cases, antibiotics may be administered intravenously or for a longer period of time.