Comedian and actor Amy Schumer has been diagnosed with Lyme disease.
In a post shared on her official Instagram account, the 39-year-old revealed that she had contracted Lyme-2 and “maybe had it for years”.
Asking her fans for advice, the mother-of-one explained that she was on an antibiotic called doxycycline and wanted to know if she could “have a glass of wine or 2 on it [sic]”.
The I Feel Pretty actor also revealed that she was taking herbs to treat it, was feeling “good” and is “excited to get rid of it”.
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my first ever fishing pole. Anyone get LYME this summer? I got it and I’m on doxycycline. I have maybe had it for years. Any advice? Can you have a glass of wine or 2 on it? I know to stay out of the sun. I’m also taking these herbs from cape cod called lyme-2. Please comment or text me on my number in my bio. I also want to say that I feel good and am excited to get rid of it.
Schumer is not the only celebrity to be diagnosed with a form of Lyme Disease.
Justin Bieber, Shania Twain, Alec Baldwin, Avril Lavigne and members of the Hadid family — Yolanda, Bella and Anwar all have the disease.
Locally, former Australia’s Next Top Model star, Didier Cohen revealed in 2018 that he too was suffering from Lyme Disease while living in Los Angeles.
“Blood tests confirmed I had three strains of Lyme and five strains of co-infections. I’ve had it for more than 10 years so it destroyed my stomach, nervous and immune system,” he told his Instagram followers.
What is Lyme Disease?
In short, Lyme disease is a bacterial illness that is transmitted through infected tick bites. According to Healthline, it is caused by the bacteria ‘Borrelia burgdorferi’.
The bacteria are then transmitted to humans by a bite from an infected black-legged or deer tick. The tick then becomes infected after feeding on infected deer, birds, or mice.
To transmit infection, the tick has to be present for longer than 36 hours and most people who contract the disease have no memory of the tick bite.
What are the symptoms?
Some of the more common symptoms include: a flat, circular rash that looks like a red oval or bull’s-eye anywhere on your body, fatigue, joint pain and swelling, muscle aches, headache, fever, swollen lymph nodes, sleep disturbances and difficulty concentrating.
After being treated for the disease, people can still experience fatigue, difficulty sleeping, aching joints or muscles, pain or swelling, difficulty concentrating and speech problems.
What are the stages of Lyme Disease?
There are three stages of Lyme Disease — early localised, early disseminated, and late disseminated. While they are separated, symptoms can overlap.
Early localised — Starts one to two weeks after the tick bite. People will exhibit viral or flu-like symptoms and a rash.
Early disseminated — This occurs several weeks after the initial bite and is characterised by a “systemic infection”, meaning it has spread throughout the body.
Late disseminated — This occurs when the infection has been treated in the earlier stages and can occur months after the fact.
How can Lyme Disease be treated?
There are several medications which can be used to treat the infection.
Antibiotics such as doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime are the most common, however, those who have central nervous system involvement, intravenous antibiotics may be used.
About 10 to 20% of people treated for Lyme Disease will still present with symptoms afterwards, this is known as ‘Lyme Disease Syndrome’.
While most people recover, it can take months or even years.
How can you be tested for Lyme Disease?
The most accurate and reliable test is a blood test.
How can you prevent contracting Lyme Disease?
Healthline recommends wearing long pants and sleeves outdoors, keep underbrush to a minimum, use insect repellent, oil of lemon eucalyptus, remove ticks with tweezers and be vigilant after camping or extended periods outdoors.
Can you get Lyme Disease in Australia?
The exact number of people with the disease is not known in Australia but you can contract Lyme Disease in Australia.
Lyme Disease.org.au has a map of residents in with confirmed cases. At present, there are 2,126 individuals infected.
For more information about Lyme Disease, head to www.lymedisease.org.au.