Lyme Disease May Be Mistaken For Covid-19: What Elkridge, MD Residents Should Know
If there was ever a year that people in Howard County were extra vigilant about any symptoms of a disease, it must be 2020. With Covid-19 in our midst, doctors advise that the best time to get treatment is when the symptoms are still mild. So if you have a fever, chills, achy joints, and fatigue, you may quickly assume that you have the virus.
However, according to researchers, this may actually not be the case. These symptoms may be caused by an early onset of Lyme disease that is caused by ticks. According to a New York Lyme disease specialist, Dr. Daniel Cameron, the disease has a reputation for imitating other conditions. This makes accurate diagnosis a challenge, so it doesn’t help that Covid-19 has been added to this list of conditions.
Figuring out which of these two diseases someone may have is key, Dr. Edward Jones-Lopez, assistant professor of clinical medicine at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California told TODAY.
There is treatment for Lyme, but the timing of when this medication is administered is crucial.
“The important thing about Lyme is that if you diagnose it and treat it early on you avoid the serious complications from the disease,” Jones-Lopez said. Read more at TODAY…
The reason why the symptoms are similar for both diseases is that they affect the immune system. The symptoms observed generally indicate that the immune system is working hard to clear an infection.
It’s already problematic that both diseases cause similar symptoms. What complicates things further is that both also need an early diagnosis to ensure that treatment is effective. An accurate diagnosis is therefore necessary.
In some cases, there are key symptoms of a tick-transmitted disease that can help with diagnosis. For example, early Lyme disease, which is caused by the bite of an infected black-legged tick, sometimes called the deer tick, is commonly associated with an expanding “bull’s-eye rash.” Seventy percent to 80% of patients have this symptom.
However, other symptoms of Lyme disease – fever, head and body aches and fatigue – are less distinctive and can be easily confused with other illnesses, including COVID-19. This can make it more difficult to diagnose a patient who did not notice a rash or was unaware that they ever had a tick bite. As a result, Lyme disease cases can be misdiagnosed. Read more at The Conversation…
Being aware that we’re in tick season is helpful, especially if you love spending time outdoors. Taking the necessary precautions to minimize your chances of getting bitten by a tick is also important. Further, be sure to carefully inspect yourself once you’re back indoors. Check for ticks that may have grabbed on to your clothing or body while you were outdoors.
One part of the body that is not affected by Lyme disease is the lungs. This is one of the primary differentiators that distinguish it from Covid-19. Respiratory symptoms like a dry cough or shortness of breath will point to Covid-19. It’s also worth noting that while Covid-19 is caused by a virus, Lyme disease is bacterial in nature.
The biggest difference, Dr. Parikh says, is the site of entry into the body for both illnesses. “Influenza, cold viruses, and coronavirus enter the body through the nasal passageways and lung tissues, so defining symptoms of these infections are most often respiratory,” she explains. Tick-borne microbes, on the other hand, enter the body through the skin and bloodstream, so symptoms often include rashes and odd systemic symptoms. Read more at Health.com…
Providing your doctor with as much information as may be useful in your diagnosis is highly recommended. At the same time, be sure to reach out to your doctor as soon as possible if you feel unwell so that you can start on treatment as soon as possible.
Ultimately, the best solution is to prevent both diseases through protective measures. You already know how to protect yourself and your loved ones from Covid-19. Similarly, you also want to minimize your chances of Lyme disease through effective tick prevention. If you’ve ever had ticks in your yard, then reach out to Backyard Bug Patrol today for effective tick control solutions.