Children and Lyme Disease 101: 10 things you need to know about Lyme Disease.
Here is some excellent advice from Donna Falcone of the Examiner.COM, to protect yourself and your family from Lyme disease:
Here are 10 things you need to know about Lyme Disease:
- You need to know that children account for 25% of all reported cases of Lyme Disease (from http://www.lymedisease.org/resources/children.html).
- You need to know that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports children, ages 5-19, as one of the largest populations of reported cases of Lyme disease.
- You need to know while Lyme Disease has been reported in every state, some states present higher risks than others. Do you know the risk level in your area? To learn about locations of Lyme Endemic regions CLICK HERE. Bear in mind that these are based on 2008 reported cases. Numbers continue to rise. For example, already the CDC in Maine has reported a tripling of cases reported for 2010. CLICK HERE for the story. Pennsylvania, recently the third highest reporting state moved up to the number one position in 2009. The CDC reports PA cases have risen to exceed 8,000 new cases. CLICK HERE for CDC data.
- You need to know that Lyme Disease often goes unrecognized, can be difficult to diagnose, and is often misdiagnosed as other conditions which means the actual incidence of infection is much higher than reported by the CDC.
- You need to know that Lyme disease is typically spread by the deer tick (often the size of a poppy seed). Although MAY is Lyme Disease awareness month, the ticks are already making an appearance on lawns, pets, and people. Other methods of transmission are being studied as well, such as in utero exposure, sexual transmission, and transmission by insects other than ticks. For further study on transmission of Lyme Disease CLICK HERE to read an article by Family Matters Magazine: Tick and Lyme Disease- Pregnancy and Transmission to a Child.
- You need to know that the deer tick often carries more than just Lyme Disease and in case of infection one must always consider associated Tick-Borne Illnesses, frequently referred to as Lyme “coinfections”. For more on coinfections CLICK HERE.
- You need to know that Lyme disease, when caught and treated early (within the first few weeks) is usually easy to treat.
- You need to know that when Lyme Disease and coinfections are not caught and treated early they become much more difficult to treat and can lead to chronic suffering and disabling conditions. The controversy which surrounds the treatment and diagnosis of late stage or ‘chronic’ Lyme Disease greatly impedes patients ability to obtain proper diagnosis and treatment. This topic will be covered in greater detail in a later installment of “Children and Lyme Disease 101”. For background on the controversy CLICK HERE to listen to “Chronic Lyme Disease Controversy” on radio WD.
- You need to know know that Lyme Disease is known as “the great imitator” because of its similarity to many, many other conditions. Lyme Disease has been linked to autism, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Rheumatoid Arthritis, MS, Heart Block and more in children.
As reported in Family Matters magazine: “Dr. Charles Ray Jones, the world’s leading pediatric specialist on Lyme Disease calls it “the second great imitator.” (Syphilis is the first.) Since it can affect the entire body in a myriad of ways, it often mimics Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), rheumatoid arthritis, autism, depression, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis and more. If this disease is not diagnosed properly it can become chronic and cause neuralgic, psychiatric, cardiac and arthritic problems. Left untreated, it can lead to heart block, seizure disorder and brain destruction. Although in rare cases, people have died from it, most live a life of constant suffering.” (Ramirez, Laura P., Family Matters Parenting Magazine http://www.parenting-child-development.com/lyme-disease.html)