With the number of Lyme Disease cases increasing in New York State (over 5300 reported last year alone) the group that does public information and support for sufferers has an information session planned for this coming week, in Eastwood.
The Empire State Lyme Disease Association is presenting a documentary on the history of Lyme Disease, and a question and answer session with a doctor who's pioneered treatment of the tick-borne disease after.
Kathleen Wallace, spokesperson for the CNY Chapter and a disease sufferer, says that with the increase in cases, more people need to be aware of the basic symptoms (headache, fatigue, joint pain) and advanced complications of the disease, and that the 'bullseye' rash at the site of a tick bite is not the only indicator, in fact some people never see the rash or even some of the basic symptoms.
Wallace says it's important to get to a doctor to get tested as soon as possible, and to take a tick, if you have it, with you.
The Information Session is at Eastwood's Palace Theatre, Thursday August 15 at 6:30pm. It is free.
The Empire State Lyme Disease Association lists support groups statewide and their meeting times, including in DeWitt, Chittenango and Marathon.
The Health Department also puts out this information on prevention:Lyme disease is just one of several diseases that can be transmitted by ticks. Others include babesiosis, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The key to preventing Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases is taking safety precautions before heading into areas where ticks may be present. Anyone who will be spending time in a grassy or wooded area should:
· Make sure shirts are tucked in and also tuck pants into socks to prevent ticks from accessing the skin
· Wear long sleeve shirts and pants, when practical
· Wear light colored clothing that will make it easier to spot and remove ticks
· Check for ticks every two to three hours while outdoors and brush off any ticks you find before they attach
· Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks on your body
· Perform a full body check at the end of the day to ensure that no ticks are attached