Nicole Malachowski |

May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month. This month is dedicated to improving awareness of Lyme and preventing the disease. Lyme disease is the most common and fastest-growing infectious disease in the United States and is considered a quiet epidemic, with approximately half a million diagnoses annually. Awareness and education are key to preventing Lyme disease, as researchers, scientists, and medical professionals work to eradicate this devastating malady.


Lyme disease is a vector borne illness–the vector responsible for the spread of this disease is the tick. The infection starts with the bite of a tick that carries a bacteria that causes a range of symptoms that may include a rash (not everyone with Lyme Disease gets a rash, and not all rashes look like the most commonly known erythema migrans or “bullseye” rash), fever, chills, fatigue, aching muscles and/or joints, headaches, neck stiffness, and many more. The symptoms can differ from person to person, and can be mistaken for symptoms of other illnesses. While Lyme disease usually responds well to early treatment, the longer a person has to wait for that treatment, the more difficult it becomes to address. And if Lyme is left untreated, it can progress quickly, causing more symptoms that can be debilitating and become chronic.


Since the early 1990s, official cases of Lyme disease in the United States have increased drastically. And as ticks thrive (partially due to climate change) and people encounter them more often, the number of Lyme cases will only continue to rise. This major public health issue is one that I believe can be decreased via preventative measures as the first line of defense, in combination with scientific research for more accurate diagnostic tools and technologies and medical research for better patient treatment options.


As an advocate for patients with tickborne illnesses, I support organizations that are leading the charge in the areas of education and awareness, diagnostics, and treatment. You can also find my favorite Lyme Disease resources via my LinkTree link on all of my social media. Check out my posts, as I do my part to inform and engage the public about Lyme disease.

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