With the summer months approaching and school vacations just around the corner, Lyme disease is always a consideration when planning a trip, especially to regions known for having ticks carrying the disease. The problem is you aren't always aware of where the ticks are, what to do if you find one on you, or even what to do if you suspect you were bitten.
Lyme disease is contracted as a result of a bite from a tick infected with “Borrelia burgdorferi.” The disease itself was named after Lyme in Connecticut where the first incidence of the illness were reported in 1975.
According to the CDC from 1992 to 2006, there were over 248,000 cases of Lyme disease reported and it is the most common vector-borne disease (carried by an organism, most commonly a rat or mosquito) illness in the United States.
Once bitten by an infected tick a rash will normally appear often accompanied by flu-like symptoms. Later, once the infection spreads, the disease can affect the skin, joints and nervous system. The best case of defense against Lyme disease is prevention, so it is important to be aware of any bites and seek medical advice as soon as possible. Lyme disease can most often be cured using antibiotics.
Thanks to the faculty and students at the Yale School of Public Health, everything you ever needed to know about Lyme disease is right at your fingertips, in a new iPhone application. Content was also provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in conjunction with the Lyme Disease Foundation and Intuwin, an application development company.
The application combined research data with GPS tracking to show prevalence of ticks in any given area in the U.S. There is also a list of precautions to prevent tick bites and images of ticks that can transmit Lyme disease (not all ticks carry the illness). There is a video instructing you on safe removal of ticks and life-size photos of different stages of ticks to determine how long a tick has been attached by how engorged with blood it is, as well as images to identify rashes that could be as a result of a tick bite.