For the second time in as many days, research has shown that statistics regarding health related issues have been grossly underestimated.
Last week, new research from a group of sociologists demonstrated that deaths directly linked to obesity from 1986-2006 were nearly four times greater than previously estimated.
This week, the CDC is reporting that the number of people stricken with Lyme disease every year is ten times greater than reported. Specifically, roughly 30,000 cases are reported to the CDC; in actuality, 300,000 people become infected every year.
Lyme disease is transmitted via deer tick bite and is named for the Connecticut town where it was first discovered nearly 40 years ago. Symptoms of the illness are fever, headache and fatigue; often a rash surrounds the site of the bite making the area look like a target board.
Although the CDC has suspected that not every case is reported by physicians, the agency was surprised at how grossly under reported the disease actually is. To come to this new estimate, the agency gathered information through a patient survey as well as a survey of 7 national labs and insurance information.
In addition to apply repellents containing DEET, WebMd suggests other measures to keep ticks at bay:
- wear a hat and closed shoes
- tuck pants inside of socks
- inspect your body for ticks after being in the woods for any length of time. And look closely, as deer ticks can be as small as a poppy seed.
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