SAN ANTONIO – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that Lyme disease is now the fastest growing vector-borne infectious disease in the United States.
Ten times more Americans have Lyme disease than previously reported. And while Texas is not a hotbed for Lyme disease like New England is, those who will be spending time outdoors this summer may still want to be cautious and avoid tick bites.
The bad: Lyme disease is one of the most underreported diseases because less than half of patients who have it don’t even remember getting bitten by a tick or getting the rash associated with it. Fortunately, there is a test.
“If they are able to figure it out, it can be treated with antibiotics. Early intervention is the best,” said Dr. Ashwin Chary, with Any Lab Test Now.
Any Lab Test Now will not only test patients, but also the tick itself. Just remove it with tweezers carefully and take it to the lab in a closed plastic bag.
“We can also check for the tick any disease-causing organisms. They can bring it here. We will put it in a baggie, and we will send it off for testing,” Chary said.
Brushy areas with tall grass are likely places for ticks. If you get bitten, the best thing to do is get tested right away, experts say.
“Intervention is the best bet. As soon as you have any kind of symptoms surface, like flu-like symptoms, and you are getting extremely nervous, tingling sensation … it's good to get checked,” Chary said.
Forty percent of Lyme disease patients end up with long-term health problems, in part because they wait so long before being diagnosed and tested.
For more information on Lyme disease, visit the CDC’s website by clicking here, which contains a plethora of information on the disease.
Quick facts on Lyme disease from the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society can be accessed by clicking here.
Access information on what to do if you are bitten by a tick by clicking here.