As we kick off the month of May, I thought it befitting to write a post that is dedicated to Lyme Disease as it is the start of Lyme Disease Awareness Month. In this post I will share some basic information about Lyme Disease as so many still know very little about this chronic yet debilitating disease. Did you know that it is estimated that roughly 30,000 new cases of Lyme Disease are reported each year? That is a very low estimate, as it is thought to be more than double that number but many cases each year go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as another illness or disease.
So what is Lyme Disease exactly? To be honest it can be hard to explain. In it’s most basic terms, Lyme Disease is an infectious disease caused by a species of bacteria belonging to the Borrelia family. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto is the main cause of Lyme Disease in North America. The disease is named after the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, Connecticut where a number of cases were identified in 1975. Although it was known that Lyme Disease was a tick-borne disease as far back as 1978, the cause of the disease remained a mystery until 1981 when B burgdorferi was identified by Willy Burgforfer.
Lyme Disease is the most common tick-borne disease in North America and is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick belonging to a few species of genus lxodes (hard ticks) Early symptoms may include fever, headache and fatigue. A bullseyes rash occurs in 70-80% of infected persons at the site of the tick bite after a delay of about 3-30 days. The rash is only rarely painful or itchy, although it may be warm to touch. Approximately 20-30% of infected persons do not experience a rash. Left untreated, later symptoms may involve the joints, heart and central nervous system. In most cases, the infection and it symptoms are eliminated by antibiotics, especially if the illness is treated early (within the first 30 days of being infected). Delayed or inadequate treatment can lead to more serious symptoms which can lead to disabling and difficult to treat. The term ”Chronic Lyme Disease” is controversial and not recognized in the medical literature and most medical authorities advise against long-term antibiotic treatment for chronic lyme disease.
More work needs to be done in order to bring about more awareness. I must admit before I got sick and diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease, I had no idea what it was other than it being something that I knew pets could contract. I worry that if more education is not provided more and more people will be misdiagnosed and will suffer because of it. That is why our family started the Windy J Cumberbatch Foundation, to help provide more education and awareness in an effort to help others and Empower | Encourage | Inspire those living with Lyme Disease and other chronic illness such as Fibromyalgia.
Please visit our website at windyjcumberbatch.org for more information. We welcome your tax deductible donation that allows us to provide transportation to and from doctor visits and assist with co-pays. You can also follow us on social media: Facebook- @windy j cumberbatch foundation and IG: WJC Foundation, Podcast: Windy’s Journey on Apple Podcast, Google Podcasts or wherever you stream.
Thank you for stopping by!