Lyme Disease and Its Serious, Disabling Consequences
One day you are feeling fine—the very picture of health. Then, slowly and steadily, it creeps up on you. And if you don’t catch it in time, you can become very, very ill.
Lyme disease is a disabling condition that can affect anyone, any time, forcing some to apply for Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits to survive. And it is, by far, most prevalent in the New England states.
What is Lyme Disease?
The key details you need to know:
- This disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.
- Blacklegged ticks (deer ticks), which feed on the blood of both humans and deer, can spread it.
- Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a skin rash that is called erythema migrans.
- If treated early with antibiotics, Lyme disease can be successfully treated.
- If untreated, this disease can spread the infection to the joints, heart, and nervous system. Loss of facial tone, called Bell’s palsy, and severe arthritic swelling of the joints accompanied by pain can set in. In addition, memory problems, unexplained shooting pains, and a numbness of the hands or feet can happen from months to years after the tick bite.
- Prevention tips include removing ticks immediately, the use of pesticides and reducing the tick habitat.
Lyme disease is the most common vector borne (transmitted through tick bites) disease the United States and the government takes it very seriously. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it was the fifth most common nationally notifiable disease in 2009. This means that the law requires reporting each case of this disease to the government to prevent pandemic outbreaks.
Here are some of the facts about Lyme disease in the human population:
- About 94 percent of cases occur in 12 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
- There were over 20,000 confirmed cases in 2010, down from about 30,000 in 2009.
- People are most likely to have an onset of Lyme disease in July, followed by June, then August.
- In patients with this disease, about 70 percent experience erythema migrans, 30 percent arthritis, 8 percent Bell’s palsy, 4 percent radiculoneuropathy, 2 percent meningitis or encephalitis, and 1 percent cardiac problems.
If you or a loved one has suffered one or more of the disabling symptoms of Lyme disease and are unable to work, you may want to consider applying for New England SSA disability benefits.
The Massachusetts SSA disability specialists at Keefe Disability Law have helped many disabled New England residents. We can help you too. Give us a call today toll free at 888-904-6847 to schedule a free case consultation.