Thursday, July 2

Is it Lyme disease or COVID-19? – WFMYNews2.com

Health experts warn the two share similar symptoms.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Coronavirus is not the only thing you have to worry about this summer. 

Ticks are back in full force which means the potential to contract Lyme disease.

Melanie Martin with Any Lab Test Now in Greensboro said folks need to be careful while spending time outdoors.

Some ticks in our area can carry Lyme disease, an infection that affects brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, and the heart.

“So what will happen is they can actually bite you and they can transmit the Lyme disease that way,” Martin said

Martin said it’s important to know it’s symptoms especially this year.

“Fever, chills. It can kind of feel like you may be getting the flu or potentially have other symptoms that are related to COVID,” Martin said.

RELATED: How Quickly Can an Attached Tick Make You Sick?

Lyme disease and coronavirus share four symptoms: fever, aches and pains, fatigue and sore throat.

But here’s where they differ.

“If you do you have a different symptom just like with the shortness of breath that’s not something that you were going to get with Lyme disease,” Martin said.

According to the CDC, shortness of breath and loss of taste and smell are particular to coronavirus while a bulls eye rash is particular to Lyme disease

RELATED: Losing your sense of smell or taste could be a sign you have coronavirus

Martin said it’s important to get tested for Lyme disease if you feel it’s symptoms. 

“It can absolutely compromise your immune system, very dangerous. It’s debilitating long-term especially if you don’t get the antibiotics you need to treat it at the onset,” Martin said. 

She adds the best way to avoid the disease is to stay away from ticks.

Here are some easy ways to avoid ticks:

  • Cover your skin while outdoors.
  • Treat your clothing and shoes with products designed to repel ticks.
  • Do a tick check before heading indoors
  • Wash clothes in hot water and dry clothes in a dryer on high heat. 
  • Shower within 2 hours of coming indoors.

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