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Raising Awareness for Lyme Disease

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Growing up, I loved playing in the woods behind my house. Building forts, turning over rocks, and playing in streams were what I lived for. As a child however, I did not realize the potential danger of lyme disease that those same woods held. Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium named Borrelia spread by ticks. Growing up in south Georgia I was unaware of the huge presence of Lyme disease. I always imagined it was one of those diseases that “happens to other people and not to me.” In reality, Georgia is now third in the country for lyme Disease. My goal with this project is to raise awareness of lyme disease and what you can do to help people with it. I hope that even if you don’t personally know someone with this disease, you become more aware of a disease that is on the rise and can help someone if they have it.

Below is a survey if you wish to take it!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSccNm0Seto-v4QGsu3_LyNbZ3d2yMYxJjrNBqud7NYvApVN3Q/viewform?usp=sf_link

Lyme Disease Demographics

Each year, approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to CDC by state health departments and the District of Columbia.However, this number does not reflect every case of Lyme disease that is diagnosed in the United States every year. Standard national surveillance is only one way that public health officials can track where a disease is occurring and with what frequency. Recent estimates using other methods suggest that approximately 300,000 people may get Lyme disease each year in the United States.

Early Symptoms

  • Rash. From three to 30 days after an infected tick bite, an expanding red area might appear that sometimes clears in the center, forming a bull’s-eye pattern. The rash (erythema migrans) expands slowly over days and can spread to 12 inches (30 centimeters) across. It’s typically not itchy or painful but might feel warm to the touch.
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • headache
  • Neck stiffness and swollen lymph nodes

Later Signs and Symptoms

  • Joint pain. Bouts of severe joint pain and swelling are especially likely to affect your knees, but the pain can shift from one joint to another.
  • Neurological problems. Weeks, months or even years after infection, you might develop inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain (meningitis), temporary paralysis of one side of your face (Bell’s palsy), numbness or weakness in your limbs, and impaired muscle movement.

How to Remove a Tick Properly

Common misconceptions of Lyme Disease

  • Every tick carries lyme disease
  • If you get a rash around your tick bite, you must have lyme disease
  • Everyone with Lyme disease gets a telltale bullseye rash.
  • Antibiotics cure everyone.

In reality, all of these are false. Not every tick carries Lyme disease and the billseye rash may or may not appear after a tick has been removed. Statistics also show that as many as 20% of patients continue to exhibit symptoms even after antibiotic treatment.

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With this project, I hope to inspire others to be more aware of those around them as Lyme disease is no longer a rare disease, especially in Georgia. It is important to spread awareness about this disease as it it projected to become more prevalent over time. Through informing people about Lyme disease I want to spread awareness and encourage others to participate in fundraisers to help raise money for those affected by the disease.

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COMMENTS: 5
  1. April 28, 2019 by Bonnie Smith

    Great work, Graham! I’m a little grossed out but safer for it. Thanks for your hard work in this class. Proud of you.

  2. April 29, 2019 by Kennedy

    Hi Graham! Where I live I rarely hear about lyme disease so I found your presentation interesting and informative. You said lyme disease was very prevalent in your area. Do you know anyone who has it? Is lyme disease deadly? In what ways can it impact your life?

    • April 29, 2019 by Graham.Wolff

      Hey Kennedy! I actually do know several people with lymes disease including friends and family. Lymes disease can be deadly from the neurological problems that occur but with the right treatment and early diagnosis, most people make it without much trouble. Thank you for the interest!

  3. April 29, 2019 by Rebecca

    Hey Graham! I grew up in NJ, where Lymes disease is quite prevalent. When we’d come inside after being outside for more than 5 minutes, my dad would go crazy checking for ticks. I always thought the bullseye was the sure sign that you had gotten lymes disease. I like that you included a video on how to remove a tick as well as information about where lymes disease is common and many facts as well as common myths. Do you know what percent of people who have lymes disease die? Is it usually from the neurological issues that come from having it?

  4. May 03, 2019 by Mary Louise Rogers

    Hey Graham! I’ve never known much about Lyme Disease so I really enjoyed reading your presentation and learning a lot more about this disease. I have heard of some people in the news be diagnosed with this disease so I was excited to learn information. One fact that really stood out to me was how lyme disease is more common in the North Eastern states of the U.S. Great project!

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