(NAPSI)—As the summer months wind down, many will continue to flock outdoors and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and fishing. What you may not realize is that despite the weather cooling off, ticks are still very prevalent outdoors.
It is important to check for ticks after spending time in the grass or garden, as ticks can transmit a bacterial infection known as Lyme disease.
A bull’s-eye rash is one of the hallmarks of Lyme disease, but other symptoms can be non-specific and even overlap with symptoms of COVID-19. These include body aches, fever, breathlessness, eye pain, diarrhea, chest tightness, headache, fatigue or joint pain.
According to the Global Lyme Alliance, there are approximately 427,000 new cases of Lyme disease in the United States every year. However, Lyme disease is often missed—or misdiagnosed—due to unreliable testing. In fact, only 30% of people with early Lyme infections have a positive test result with existing tests because the disease is difficult to detect in its earliest stages, even though this is when it is easiest to treat.
If you suspect you have Lyme disease or have been recently diagnosed, you can be part of the solution to improve detection of the disease in others.
How You Can Get Involved
If you’ve recently been infected with Lyme disease, your immune system can provide important information about how to detect and treat the disease that current tests cannot. To help advance new tests for Lyme disease, Adaptive Biotechnologies has launched the ImmuneSense Lyme study to better understand our body’s immune response.
You may be eligible to participate in the study if you have signs and symptoms of Lyme disease, or were recently diagnosed and have not taken antibiotics for more than three days. To participate, you can visit a participating doctor to have your blood sample collected or schedule an at-home visit compliant with social distancing guidelines.
Why Your Participation Matters
If left untreated, Lyme disease can become a serious illness for many people, but if caught early, it can typically be treated with antibiotics and long-term complications can be avoided. Early detection is key for early treatment and now there is an opportunity to help bring about new detection methods for this serious and often overlooked disease.
Visit www.immunesensestudy.com to learn more about the study, and how you can be a part of the solution for better testing.
Editor’s Note: This article can be of interest to anyone but is of particular use to those living in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., New York, Virginia, New Hampshire, Massachusetts.