Lyme Disease is one of the most common diseases transmitted by an insect bite in the United States. After a tick attaches itself to a host, it can take up to 24-36 hours for the tick to infect the body with Lyme disease. Once infected, people will usually start having flu-like symptoms such as headaches, fevers, fatigue, and a bulls-eye rash. If this goes untreated the symptoms can worsen into joint swelling and stiffness, facial palsy, severe headaches, and neck pain. In the U.S. alone, about 476,000 people are affected annually by Lyme disease. Ticks are very prevalent in New York because of the weather and climate that we experience. Just in Monroe County, the cases of Lyme disease reported have increased each year.
There currently is no vaccine to prevent Lyme Disease, but there are some preventative measures that you can take to avoid ticks. When spending time outdoors, ensure you are cautious of what you may be rubbing up against. Try to continuously check your exposed skin and clothes to see if a tick attached itself to you without you knowing. It is also essential when hiking to make sure that you are staying on trails that are already cleared off and that you are avoiding venturing into wooded areas. When the temperature is warmer out, make sure to use insect repellent, avoid sitting on the ground, shower after being outdoors, and most importantly do a full-body check after spending time outside so that you can catch a tick as soon as possible.
If you get bit by a tick and end up with Lyme disease, there are antibiotics that can help treat it but sometimes symptoms can last up to 6 months. If Lyme disease does go left untreated those symptoms can also have lasting effects for years after. It is important to find a vaccine to protect against Lyme disease because of the growing number of infected people.
Rochester Clinical Research wants to help get a vaccine approved by the FDA so that we can have a future free of Lyme disease. We are conducting a study this season to work towards that goal! For this particular study, we are seeking participants between the ages of 5-17 years old. The purpose of the study is to find an effective vaccine to protect children against the disease. If you are interested in protecting your children from this tick-borne bacterial infection, call 585-288-0890 or click on the link below to learn more.