With summer approaching, Staten Islanders need to be aware of the dangers that the rising deer population poses with regards to Lyme disease, which is spread by deer ticks. Every year, there are approximately 20,000 new reported cases of Lyme disease. This number is believed to be even lower than the actual infected rate, due to lack of diagnosis or misdiagnosis.
Signs of acute Lyme disease are fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches and swollen lymph nodes, which can occur up to a month after a tick bite. A rash often forms around the bite, which in many cases resembles a bullseye.
Lyme disease can affect anyone, and many well-known people have spoken out about their experience with the disease, including musicians Avril Lavigne and Daryl Hall, actors Ashley Olsen, Ben Stiller and Richard Gere; President George W. Bush; author Amy Tan, and model Christy Turlington.
If you think you have been exposed to Lyme disease or have gotten bitten by a tick, see a doctor as soon as possible.
Follow these tips to help protect yourself from ticks and reduce your chances of getting Lyme disease: