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Winning the Battle Against Lyme Disease

It’s alarming but true – Lyme disease is one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the United States. Even though there’s only a 1 to 3 percent chance of being infected through a tick bite, there are nearly 20,000 new cases of Lyme disease reported each year.

Thankfully, modern medicine has made diagnosing and treating Lyme disease incredibly effective.

What are the Symptoms of Lyme Disease?

Early on, Lyme disease resembles flu-like symptoms – severe fatigue, headache, and after a few days, the classic “bulls-eye” rash. However, not all Lyme disease victims present with a rash.

If Lyme disease isn’t treated, it can result in debilitating and confusing symptoms:

  • Psychological issues like memory loss and psychosis
  • Extreme muscle paralysis and numbness
  • Chronic pain and headache
  • Parkinson’s-like symptoms

How is Lyme Disease Diagnosed?

Lyme disease is diagnosed through several steps and tests:

  • Presentation of patient’s symptoms and their history with tick-infested areas
    • The bulls-eye rash is often enough to confirm a positive Lyme disease diagnosis
  • The Western blot and the ELISA tests are the standard blood tests
    • These tests aren’t 100 percent accurate and false negatives occur
    • Also used for HIV and AIDs testing

For more information on Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, head to the not-for-profit organization, The National Capital Lyme Disease Association.

DC Mosquito Squad’s Pledge

DC Mosquito Squad isn’t here just for the sole sake of ridding your yard of pests – we want to keep your family safe and healthy. Whether its ticks, mosquitos, stink bugs, or other pests, we offer a huge variety of services that can help you take back your yard and have a safe and enjoyable summer.

  • A new blood test, the LTTT-MELISA, is showing promising results for diagnosing Lyme disease

Another great way to get a rapid diagnosis is to test the little jerk that bit you! If you can manage to capture the tick that bit you, sending it for testing to an independent lab, like Clongen Labs, is a very accurate way to determine your risk for developing Lyme disease.

  • Remove the tick with tweezers by gently pulling from the tick’s head so you don’t separate it
  • Store the tick in a Ziploc bag in the freezer
  • Send the tick to Clongen Labs for testing

The scary part about Lyme disease is that many patients have trouble getting an accurate diagnosis. Because of the wide range of symptoms, many doctors look for other causes and don’t immediately use the Western blot or ELISA tests. If you feel that you have Lyme disease but haven’t received a helpful diagnosis – be adamant about your health and demand to take these tests!

Once a positive Lyme disease diagnosis is made, patients start treatment right away.

How is Lyme Disease Treated?

Despite attempts at creating a safe and effective Lyme disease vaccine, antibiotics remain the first method in Lyme disease treatment.

  • Early treatment includes the use of DoxycyclineAmoxicillin, or Azithromycin
    • These antibiotics treat Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses
    • Ceftriaxone or Cefotaxime IV antibiotics are used for the later stages of Lyme disease

For more information on Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, head to the not-for-profit organization, The National Capital Lyme Disease Association.