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.


  1. Dr. Kim,

    I live in one of those high density tick locations as well.

    I am looking for the organization that has designated May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month and is leading the publicity effort.


  2. The Rockland County Department of Health announces that May is Lyme Disease Awareness month and reminds residents to protect against ticks when outdoors. May will now be known as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in California, thanks to a resolution authored by Arcata's 1st District Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro.

    I believe it may have originated here:

  3. Just an FYI to your readers that we've made the TickDoctor iPhone app for identifying ticks free during the month of May in support of Lyme Disease Awareness. You can find it on the iTunes app store or

    Hope this info helps.