Sunday, May 10, 2009
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month
This month is Lyme Disease awareness month. What do you know about Lyme Disease? Do you live in an area where ticks cause diseases? I do, and I've lived in several different states where ticks cause medical diseases (like Lyme Disease, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever). When we're talking about ticks, it's important to differentiate between diseases caused by Borrelia vs. Rickettsia. You don't have to be an infectious disease expert to know the difference between these.
Lyme disease is caued by a bug (well, not literally a bug) called Borrelia burgdorferi. Everyone probably knows that you get Lyme through a tick bite, so as camping season approaches, it becomes important to check yourself for ticks.
Tickborne rickettsial diseases (TBRD) include other diseases like: 1) Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), 2) ehrlichiosis, 3) anaplasmosis, and 4) emerging diseases such as Rickettsia parkeri infection. The CDC has a great site that summarizes these common diseases.