Rita Trandem, who lives six miles south of Erskine, went outdoors to weed her flower bed like she frequently does. That night, July 17, she woke up with a high fever. She went to the emergency room, they gave her intravenous fluids and closely monitored what they thought was just a virus. They couldn't explain her condition so they suggested Tylenol and Ibuprofen alternated every two hours.
A couple days later, Trandem's doctor took a blood sample and sent it to Rochester. That's when it came back saying she had early onset Lyme disease.
Prime time for tick habitats is generally mid-May through mid-July. They can be found in wooded, brushy areas or even your own garden. Blacklegged ticks, also known as deer or bear ticks, "have to bite you and remain attached for one to two days before they can transmit the Lyme disease bacteria," according to the Minnesota Department of Health. There are multiple symptoms such as a high fever, muscle aches and a red ring or "bullseye" appearance that could be an early sign of Lyme disease.
Trandem was not lucky enough to experience any visual characteristics of Lyme disease when she first went in to be checked. Had it been detected right away, the treatment might have been lessened. Trandem has been taking antibiotics for the last couple of weeks and will continue for one more week. She is "very happy that I can finally rest at night without having to wake up every two hours." Her doctor also thinks she might now be immune, which is the best thing that could happen after everything she has went through.
There are some things that people can do to protect themselves from ticks. First is to use a good tick repellent, especially products containing 'permethrin' which should be applied to clothing only. They can be found in the camping, hunting or outdoor area of most local stores. Any standard DEET-based product is another option, with the recommended 30 percent being safe for adults and children over two months. Secondly, wear long sleeved shirts and pants to shield you from ticks. It may be easier to spot ticks if you wear light colored clothes. Third, check frequently for ticks and remove them promptly in a slow but firm manner. A pair of tweezers or specifically designed tick forceps might be the best way as long as you grasp the tick by the head. There currently is not a vaccine for Lyme disease, so caution should be taken.