10 Essential Facts About Lyme Disease

9. Lyme disease doesn’t go away in all cases, even with treatment. The CDC’s criteria for Lyme disease was established to make it easy for state departments to report cases back to the agency, Makous said. But she says it is too narrow, and doesn’t include an accurate representation of cases that persist, known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. The CDC says this affects 10 to 20 percent of Lyme disease patients. Symptoms include extended fatigue, pain, and joint and muscle aches, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

“It can be hard to make a correct diagnosis because the symptoms are too similar to other diseases,” Baker says.

But “if people continue to have symptoms, they should persist and not give up,” says Makous, who also treats post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.

10. You can take precautions to prevent Lyme disease. If you’re going outdoors in a shady grassland or densely wooded area, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease recommends wearing light-colored long-sleeved pants and shirts to make ticks easier to spot. Spray clothing with permethrin repellent, and spray DEET directly on your skin. Check the CDC’s DEET information page to find out which formulations are okay to spary directly on your skin. Once inside, you should check for ticks in hairy areas of your body, and be sure to wash all clothing.

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