May is here, and within this spring month we get Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day – so many fun occasions that we are all excited to celebrate. But, did you know May is also Lyme Disease Awareness month? It may not make you as excited as a Memorial Day cook-out, or a lovely brunch with your mom, but it is something you should be cognizant of, especially if you live in a state where Lyme disease is prevalent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector borne illness (or disease transmitted to humans by ticks, mosquitoes or fleas) in the United States, with 24,364 confirmed cases reported in 2011. You may have read our blog post about ticks in February, giving you helpful information on ticks and how to keep them out of your yard, and how to remove one but what is Lyme disease? How do you know if you have it?
If you have a tick bite and live in an area where it occurs, you should seek medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Red, expanding rash
- Fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes
- “Bull’s Eye Rash” – occurs in approximately 70-80% of infected persons and begins at the site of a tick bite after 3-30 days (average is about 7 days). The rash gradually expands over a period of several days and can reach up to 12 inches across. Parts of the rash may clear as it enlarges, resulting in a “bull’s-eye” appearance. Rash usually feels warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful.
When Mosquito Joe of Howard County’s Kurt Godwin in Maryland made the decision to open a Mosquito Joe, he had a very personal reason to do so. “My son had Lyme disease twice. Both times were frightening, and we didn’t know as much about the disease back then. Each time he developed the bulls-eye rash, and that was scary all by itself as it was a confirmation that he had been infected. His symptoms were very similar to what most people get; he had fevers, aches, chills, and headaches. On both occasions, we were fortunate enough to catch it early and get medical treatment. Anything one can do to avoid the risk of Lyme disease is well worth the effort and cost.” Kurt is hoping to help others keep their families protected from Lyme Disease and other vector borne illness through his Mosquito Joe services which conveniently launch this month.
As we all make our plans this spring for warm weather, it is important to remember that mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks are not just annoying – they can pose serious health risks. The CDC has recommendations for how to avoid ticks in your yard, but MoJo can help you stop the problem before it starts. Celebrate Lyme Disease Awareness month by calling and setting up a barrier spray to make sure ticks (and other biting insects!) don’t call your yard home.
Photo from https://www.webmd.com