BBC reporter describes her fight with Lyme disease


Intravenous news: The BBC report “Lyme disease remains a mysterious ailment, even as the ticks that carry the illness continue to spread across the United States. But a new study could help determine why some people get sick. While on a camping trip in Virginia last spring, I was bitten by an Ixodes scapularis, more commonly known as a deer tick. I’m still not sure where the parasite lodged itself, but I think it must have crawled into my hair and fastened on to my scalp. More revolting still, it probably remained there, gorging itself on my blood for at least 36 hours – the average time experts believe it takes to infect a human with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

A couple of weeks later I had all the symptoms: chronic fatigue, agonising headaches, back and muscle pain, and the classic red-ringed rash that is often the hallmark of Lyme disease. My doctor immediately prescribed a month-long course of antibiotics. If the disease is caught early, most experts say such treatment will solve the problem completely. It did for me.

But about 20% of patients report lingering or recurring symptoms even after taking antibiotics. The condition is often referred to as chronic Lyme disease or more formally, Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS).”

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