My photo and fact for today:
There are no definitive blood tests for Lyme Disease. Current Lab tests are not reliable and give many false negatives. This is because they are antibody tests and can only look for evidence of the presence of the Borrelia bacterium that causes Lyme Disease, not an active infection; nor evidence of infection in people whose immune systems have not produced antibodies. Some people simple do not produce antibodies - the bacteria can hide from the immune system and multiply, hidden - this means the immune system won't produce antibodies and the test will be negative - even although the person may be severely ill.
It is also, therefore, impossible to distinguish between an active infection and prior exposure to the bacterium. As with most illnesses, some people do not become severely ill with Lyme Disease; in some, they find a tick, or develop a bullseye rash (the only known definitive indicator of Lyme) - these are the lucky ones; the ones who are (in areas where doctors are well informed about Lyme) given antibiotics immediately; often, but not always, stopping the disease in its tracks. For those (like me!) who are diagnosed in the stages of a late, systemic infection, diagnosis and treatment are much more complex.
This is why it is so important - for both the general public, and doctors - to understand how to identify and treat Lyme Disease early. Please support Lyme awareness! And if you can, please consider donating to ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society - details are below.
The #LymeDiseaseChallenge doesn't require a personal invitation, so I nominate everyone reading to take part, or to make a donation to ILADS.
The challenge is easy -
1.Take a bite out of a lime & share the photo on your own facebook page or other social media outlets - if there's no photo, it didn't happen! The funnier, the better; you may want to take a series of photos for a mini collage! Please remember to hashtag #takeabiteoutoflyme
2.Share a fact - help spread information about Lyme Disease
(For some facts, see: http://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk/about-lyme/ )
3.Pass it on! Nominate 3 friends to #takeabiteoutoflyme and support Lyme Disease Awareness
Please consider making a donation to ILADS, and international charity voted for by Lyme sufferers to benefit from this awareness campaign. Find out more here:
You can also share, reblog, retweet, or just join in if you feel like it -
It's an open invitation!
Please help us beat Lyme Disease!
(I'm posting my photos frame by frame so I can nominate more people and add another fact each day - so watch this space........!)
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
~ Mahatma Gandhi ~