Lyme disease is a bacterial infection (Borrelia burgdorferi) primarily transmitted by Ixodes ticks, also known as black-legged ticks. These tiny arachnids are typically found in wooded and grassy areas. While some sightings of black-legged ticks do occur in Chatham County, they are rare (another disease that exhibits lyme-like symptoms is STARI, which will be the subject of a later blog).
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease in the US every year. Because diagnosing Lyme can be difficult, many people who have Lyme may be misdiagnosed with other conditions. The NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health’s March 2015 Annual Surveillance Memo states that five counties are designated as endemic (Alleghany, Guilford, Haywood, Wake and Wilkes). If Lyme is suspected in a patient, the Division of Public Health requests that appropriate laboratory tests be ordered to support a surveillance diagnosis.
LymeDisease.org has developed a Lyme disease symptom checklist to help you document your exposure to Lyme disease and common symptoms for your healthcare provider. You will receive a report that you can print out and take with you to your next doctor’s appointment.