First identified in a group of children in Lyme, Connecticut, Lyme disease has now been found in nearly all states and 18 other countries. Most cases -- more than 95% -- are reported in these 14 states:
Because the symptoms are random and vague (aside from a bull's-eyerash), Lyme disease can be hard to diagnose. Unfortunately, unless Lyme disease is treated promptly, it can also be difficult to cure. For these reasons, people living in high-risk areas should be knowledgeable about Lyme disease.
Most people with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) know about back pain. But other areas of your body can swell and hurt, too.
That’s what happened to 23-year-old Stefanie Gomez. When she was 15 -- before she ever had back pain -- the joints in her toe, ankle, and knee swelled up. They became red, warm, and painful.
It’s pretty common for AS to first show up in places other than your spine. That’s especially true for people who are younger than 16.
It wasn’t long before Gomez, now a social worker in...
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria transmitted through the bite of the tiny black-legged, or deer, tick found in the Eastern and Central U.S. and the western black-legged tick in the Pacific West. The riskiest months for Lyme disease are from May through September, when young ticks are likely to be biting.
In humans, the bacteria may cause flu-like symptoms. It invades many tissues -- including the heart and nervous system -- and triggers an immune response that can lead to Lyme arthritis.