Home Health Thousands of people in West Virginia affected by ‘mysterious’ tick-borne illness suffered by Justin Bieber and Bella Hadid

Thousands of people in West Virginia affected by ‘mysterious’ tick-borne illness suffered by Justin Bieber and Bella Hadid

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The map above shows where cases of Lyme disease were reported in the US in 2022

Experts have raised the alarm about the growing threat of tick-borne Lyme disease, as cases begin to skyrocket with rising temperatures.

In West Virginia, one county health department warned that the state is currently seeing hundreds of cases of the condition, compared to just a few a few years ago.

Department Administrator Howard Gamble told locals media that patients should see a health professional ‘if a tick has bitten and become embedded in the skin.’

Statewide, cases reached 1,052 last year and are expected to rise to similar levels this year. Just a decade ago, there were barely 300 cases a year.

The map above shows where cases of Lyme disease were reported in the US in 2022

This year, Lyme disease cases have already risen to record levels in northeastern states, including New York and Massachusetts.

Emergency room visits for tick bites reached 69 per 100,000 emergency room visits in March, the highest rate ever recorded for the month and well above the seven-year average of 43 visits at this time. previous.

Ticks also emerged earlier than normal this year, with bites reported in New Hampshire and Minnesota as early as February, well before April when ticks typically emerge.

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria that is transmitted when someone is bitten by an infected tick that is prevalent in grassy and wooded areas.

It initially causes a characteristic target-shaped rash around the bite site and, without treatment, can lead to nerve damage, heart problems, fatigue and personality changes.

Doctors can treat the infection with antibiotics, but diagnosis can take months if early warning signs are missed.

The condition has attracted attention due to the large group of celebrities who suffer from it, including Justin Bieber and Bella Hadid, who were diagnosed with Lyme disease, likely after spending time in the countryside.

Experts say Lyme disease is mysterious because antibodies against the bacteria often cannot be detected for several weeks after infection, even when someone is suffering from symptoms.

This means that patients are often misdiagnosed and their symptoms remain unexplained.

Justin Bieber opens up about his battle with Lyme disease

Bella Hadid did it too

Both Justin Bieber and Bella Hadid have spoken out about their battles with Lyme disease.

Infections have increased in the US every year since 2014, with almost 63,000 cases were recorded in 2022, as longer summers allow ticks to be active for longer.

Gamble said the disease was becoming “endemic” in more areas.

Official data for 2022 showed that cases jumped 28 percent compared to the previous year.

Nationally, the largest outbreaks last year were in Rhode Island, Vermont and Maine, with as many as 212 cases per 100,000.

Massachusetts is also sounding the alarm about other tick-borne diseases that are on the rise, including the rare Powassan virus.

About 10 percent of people who contract the virus suffer severe neurological symptoms, such as seizures, speech problems and paralysis.

This year it was first reported in the town of Sharon, Massachusetts, causing concern.

Experts say ticks tend to be active from March to mid-May and mid-August to November, but warn that warmer weather is increasing during this period.

Bugs often hang on the edge of grass on trails waiting for someone to pass by before latching on.

In some cases, they may also fall from trees after detecting heat and activity beneath them.

“They drop down to see what’s going on, they can catch our legs very easily because they’re hanging from low grasses, branches, etc.,” Gamble said.

Experts say the best way to avoid a tick bite is to cover exposed skin with long-sleeved shirts, pants, and socks.

If bitten, grab the tick by the head before removing it. Leaving your head back could help avoid infection.

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