Lyme Disease and Disability

Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is an emerging infectious disease caused by bacteria received from the bite of blacklegged ticks. These bacteria are called Borrelia Burgdorferi, named after the scientist who discovered them, and are carried by the ticks that have bitten other animals with Lyme disease. The disease was first reported in 1975 in the city of Old Lyme, Connecticut. It remains a disease most commonly found in Northeastern and North-central states, such as Virginia, Maine, or Minnesota. It has also appeared in Southern and Western states as well. It remains a controversial medical subject, due to many doctor’s belief that its effects have a mental origin.

The highest risk factors of Lyme disease are doing outdoor activities like gardening or hunting in areas known to get it, or having a pet that could carry ticks home with them. Usually, ticks must have been attached to your body for at least a day or two to allow the bacteria to infect the blood stream. In most cases, due to their extremely small size, those bit by a tick never see it or feel any pain, unless the effects of Lyme disease begin.

The usual symptoms include fever, chills, headaches, muscle pain, a stiff neck and a body-wide itching. A “bull’s eye” or “butterfly” rash may appear in the affected area, a flat or slightly raised red spot that can expand to a rather large size. These are the signs of Stage 1 or localized Lyme disease. Stage 2, disseminated Lyme disease will usually only occur if former symptoms go untreated. This stage starts a spread of the bacteria through the body, can last for many weeks and causes paralysis or swelling in affected muscles. Stage 3 or late disseminated Lyme disease is when the bacteria have spread throughout the entire body. Its results can last for months or even years and can cause extreme muscle pain and weakness.

If you are suffering from Lyme disease and it has forced you to go without work, contact experienced disability lawyer Nick Ortiz at 850-308-7833 for assistance in filing or appealing a Long Term Disability or Social Security disability claim.