Lyme disease taking a toll on local families

 Mothers of local children frustrated with how disease is diagnosed and treated; one heads to US for answers.

Kawartha Lakes This Week

(KAWARTHA LAKES) Looking at Aidan Watson and Dylan Hill one wouldn’t think they were seriously ill.

Earlier this year, the two children were diagnosed with Lyme disease, making even the simplest tasks extremely difficult.

Lyme disease is an illness caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which can be spread through the bite of certain types of ticks. In humans it can be serious but is treatable.

“Diagnosis of Lyme disease is challenging and is based on clinical signs and symptoms and testing of blood taken from the person. Treatment is based on the results of the physician’s assessment and blood test results,” states Linda McCarey, director of communicable disease control with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

Symptoms usually happen in three stages. The first often appears as an expanding target-like rash, between three and 30 days after an infected tick bite. Symptoms include fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, chills and fever.

Untreated, the disease moves into the Stage 2, lasting up to several months with such symptoms as central and peripheral nervous system disorders, multiple skin rashes, heart palpitations, extreme fatigue and general weakness.

Stage 3 can last months to years and result in recurring arthritis and neurological problems.

In early-September, Dylan noticed a rash thought to be poison ivy. His mom, Cheryl Head, took him to the hospital where he was given prednisone

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