When it comes to contracting a tick-borne illness or disease, no one is immune. No matter what your income, your occupation, or your beliefs; a tick-borne illness such as Lyme Disease infects at random. What it comes down to is being at the wrong untreated place at the same time as an infected tick. It is as simple as that. According to a recent New York Times article, about 25,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported each year in the United States.
Since the odds of coming into contact with an infectious tick are favorable for those who like the outdoors in the Spring and Summer, then it’s inevitable that some of our favorite celebrities, sports heroes, political leaders and people in the spotlight that we look up to have contracted Lyme disease.
One of my favorite authors, Alice Walker suffers from Lyme disease. Walker was born in Eatonton, GA., in 1944 and is an award-winning poet, author and civil rights activist. Among her many contributions to the literary world, “The Color Purple” is one of her crowning achievements. The book “The Color Purple” was made into a movie and Ms. Walker struggled with Lyme disease while filming was taking place. She later documented her struggle with the disease in as essay titled ‘The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult’, which was written and published in 1996.
Amy Tan is another well-known author who has suffered from late-stage Lyme disease and has become an activist in the fight to boost awareness of the disease. She is most well-known for her book “The Joy Luck Club”. Amy has her own website that chronicles her battle with Lyme disease and tells her story of how Lyme disease affected her life.
Among the list of celebrities that have been diagnosed with Lyme include actor Richard Gere, Supermodels Christie Brinkley and Christy Turlington, Comedian Ben Stiller, Singer Daryl Hall (of Hall and Oates), Governor of New York George E. Pataki, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, and yes even former President of the United States George W. Bush. Locally, our own beloved Arielle Riposta who worked as a news anchor for the FOX affiliate, WACH 57, right here in Columbia, S.C. has Lyme disease and speaks about it to raise awareness of the disease.
Mosquito Squad of Columbia is also working to raise awareness of the seriousness of Lyme Disease here in the Columbia area. Prevention and control of the deer tick is the only way to protect yourself from coming into contact with a potentially infected tick. Our tick control programs are designed to stop the life cycle of the tick and thus halt the spread of Lyme Disease. Contact us today to learn more about our tick control programs and how we can keep your yard free of ticks and the risk of tick-borne illness and disease as well.