Lyme Disease Public Education Plan
Table of Contents
Cause and Effect Sheet
Disease Analysis Sheet
Disease Control Plan
Lyme disease can be a very serious disease if not treated early enough. The most important way to keep from getting the disease is prevention. Education is the key to prevention. The only way to contract the disease is to be bitten by a tick that is carrying the bacteria Borrelia Burgoloferi. By educating the public on the facts of the disease and how it is transmitted will greatly lower the number of cases each year.
Facts on Lyme disease:
First outbreak 1975
Scattered outbreaks in CA & Northwest
Usually in June, July, & Aug
Populations most affected:
Upper east coast
The bacteria Borrelia Burgoloferi, which is transmitted by the bite of a deer tick or blacklegged tick, cause Lyme disease. Lyme disease got its name from Lyme, Connecticut, the town where the first major outbreak was documented in 1975 (vitaminstuff.com). Another major outbreak in 1993 caused an investigation into the link between Lyme disease and the white tailed deer. It has since then caused other outbreaks scattered in California and the Northwest. It has also been noted that the majority of the reported cases have been in the months of June, July, and August.
The population that is most affected by this disease are those in areas that are highly wooded. The areas that have a high deer population are also among the most affected areas. Those regions that are among the highest reported cases are the states in the upper east coast, including, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Hampshire. States like Minnesota and Wisconsin are also highly affected. The rest of the upper east coast, the upper Midwest, and parts of northern California are in the moderate risk category. The areas in the southwest and west mountains are in the low risk category.
Ticks transmit Lyme disease; however, a tick bite doesn’t mean you will get Lyme disease. The tick must be attached to your skin for 36-48 hours (wikipedia.com). This still doesn’t mean you are affected because not all ticks carry the bacteria. Once you are infected, the typical progression of the disease will start with a red, raised rash at the site of the bite. It can be itchy and slightly lighter in color in the center. As the disease progresses, you could begin to have flu like symptoms and then soreness in the joints (lymediseaseassociation.org). This disease has been linked to a lot of children developing arthritis. If this is not treated early, there can be some major permanent damage to the body. There are many associations for Lyme disease in the United States that are conducting many different research programs to help improve the understanding of the disease, improve testing and treatment procedures, and help with the prevention and control of the disease. The center for disease control alone has totaled three and a half million dollars a year to ten different institutes to help research these topics. A few more topics that have been funded are tick control and community based prevention programs.
Prevention is a big topic because the disease it is very preventable. Being able to educate the public on the disease and ways to keep you tick free are very valuable to the control of Lyme disease. Just as important as prevention is the ability to know when you have the disease. Lots of research is going into better diagnosis skills and more effective testing. This is major because the disease tends to mimic other illnesses. Some of the things it likes to mimic are: viruses, attention deficit disorder, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue...
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