Feeling Weak Recently? It May Be From a Tick Bite

FAST FACTS:

  • There were 221 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Georgia between 2000 and 2016.
  • It’s estimated that there are more than 2,000 cases of Lyme disease in the state.
  • The highest number of reported cases occurred in 2008.

Ticks are out in full force throughout the United States. It’s so bad, in fact, that some states have erected billboards to remind people about the dangers of tick bites, particularly Lyme disease. If you enjoy walks outside, like to wait a few extra days to cut your grass or have tall vegetation in your yard, you need to keep reading.

No one wants to have to deal with Lyme disease. Unfortunately, knowing that you don’t want to deal with it isn’t enough. There are misconceptions that surround ticks, their bites and Lyme disease. The more you understand about your chances of acquiring the disease and its symptoms, the better able you are to protect yourself.

If you have been feeling weak lately, it may be from a tick bite. Lyme disease is frequently misdiagnosed due to its similarity to other conditions. If you believe that you have been misdiagnosed, an Atlanta medical malpractice attorney can help.

Ticks in Georgia

Not all ticks are the same. Like other insects, there are different types. The kinds you are likely to see in Atlanta include the deer tick, lone star tick, dog tick and black-legged tick. The black-legged tick is the one you have to worry about when it comes to Lyme disease.

You’re most likely to run into ticks if you walk or run through a grassy area. The ticks wait on top of leaves or tall grasses for a host to walk by and then hitch a ride. When a human or animal walk by, the tick jumps on board and, it hopes, attaches for a blood meal.

The transmission of Lyme disease is not immediate. A tick must be attached for at least 36 hours (often longer) for transmission.

You won’t get Lyme disease from an animal, and you won’t get it from human contact in most cases. Your highest probability of contracting the disease is through an actual bite.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Common Symptoms of Lyme Disease infographic

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One of the reasons that Lyme disease is misdiagnosed is not only because it mimics other diseases, but that sometimes people don’t know that they’ve been bitten. This is because a tick feeds and then drops off its body.

Recognizing these symptoms can help you discuss your condition with a medical professional:

1. Rash

The telltale sign of Lyme disease is a round, bulls eye rash. The rash will have a dark center and a halo around the outside.

2. Fatigue

One of the earliest signs of Lyme disease is fatigue. You may feel worn out like you do when you have the flu. You aren’t overly active but feel tired. You might need to spend more time sleeping to feel completely rested.

During the later stages of Lyme or in more severe cases, the fatigue can interfere with your daily life.

3. Problems in Your Joints

Other early symptoms of the disease include swollen, stiff joints. It could hurt to bend your knees or elbows whether or not you’ve exercised.

Studies have shown that about 80 percent of people with undiagnosed Lyme disease have some type of joint issues.

4. Headache

About 50 percent of people with Lyme disease have headaches and fever. Headaches are not uncommon in themselves, but if they occur daily or with more intensity that you are used to, it could be an indicator of Lyme.

5. Sleep Disturbances

Night sweats and chills are common. If you suddenly have these symptoms at night, talk with your doctor. They can be indicative of a number of conditions, but also of Lyme disease.

A persistent state of tiredness coupled with an inability to sleep soundly should be discussed.

6. Trouble Concentrating

This is a frightening symptom. You may become easily confused or forget what it was that you were going to say or do.

Do not ignore the feeling that your behaviors are changing, especially if it’s so obvious that someone else points out the changes.

Conditions That Look Like Lyme Disease

The symptoms of Lyme disease are shared with other conditions. It’s why Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed. The conditions that a person may be diagnosed with include:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Depression
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Lou Gehrig’s Disease

When you are misdiagnosed with an illness, you are not only losing out on necessary treatment, but you may be receiving treatment you don’t need. In the worst cases, misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose can lead to death.

You have legal rights to pursue if you have been misdiagnosed with any type of illness.

Preventing Ticks

The first step in avoiding Lyme disease is avoiding ticks. If you go for a walk in grassy areas, wear long, light colored pants and sleeves. Check yourself and your pets before you get in your car or walk into your house.

Treat your yard and perimeter of your home with a tick preventive or killer, and be sure to keep your animals on a tick preventive year round.

An Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help

If you believe that you have been diagnosed with a condition other than what you have, it may be medical malpractice. A medical malpractice attorney can assist you in pursuing your legal options.

You may be entitled to compensation for past medical bills and those that may be incurred in the future. You could also receive damages for lost wages. Call our office today to schedule your free case evaluation and let us help you.