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The Costs of Chronic Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease was first recognized in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. It’s caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi that’s carried by some black-legged deer ticks and spreads to humans through these ticks’ bites. The earliest symptom of the disease is usually a skin rash called erythema migrans that looks like a red bullseye surrounding the bite appearing three to 30 days after the bite occurs. However, the red bullseye rash doesn’t always appear – it may be shaped differently, or not appear at all. Some patients may not be aware that they were bitten.

Other early symptoms may include fatigue, headache, fever, sore throat, chills, or body aches.

If left untreated, Lyme Disease can spread to the joints, heart and nervous system, causing the patient extreme pain. And it’s more prevalent than many realize: About 300,000 Americans are infected with Lyme disease each year—a number 10 times higher than the CDC previously estimated.

Most patients recover quickly and completely from early-stage Lyme Disease after being receiving antibiotic treatment for two to four weeks. But anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of patients will not recover after antibiotic treatment, and will suffer from Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), sometimes referred to as chronic Lyme Disease.

The cause of chronic Lyme Disease is still unclear, and doctors have trouble treating people who suffer from the disease. Most patients will get better with time, but the pain is real: Patients with PTLDS have to deal with lingering symptoms of fatigue, pain, and joint and muscle aches, sometimes for months or even years. And they often have trouble finding emotional support they need during what is a frustrating and painful recovery. Many of them can’t work because of their symptoms, and find themselves unable to pay their bills or live the life they once knew.

Showing your support for a loved one dealing with Lyme Disease is easier than ever with online fundraising pages. And the most important part is that online fundraising sites do more than just help with bills; they create a community of love and support for a person in need. Dealing with a chronic illness can make a person feel very alone; but donors can leave comments and hugs on a fundraising page that mean the world to someone who is ill.

So start a fundraiser for a loved one dealing with Lyme Disease today!

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