Can anyone tell me if Lyme disease is something that can be contracted in the Caribbean? I got a strange bite on my cruise back in march. It was on my ankle and it hurt for a few days..but no "bulls-eye" rash..just some strange dots by it. About a month after the cruise I started having the following symptoms:
-muscle aches (recent)
-weakness and tiredness (recent)
-red "flushed" looking face
-rapid heart rate and palpitaions (once a few weeks ago)
-slight fever (98.9-99.4)
My doctor doesnt want to test for Lyme disease because he says that:
1) there have to be deer to get Lyme disease
2) the tests often come back false positive and false negative
My questions to you:
-Are there deer in either Cozumel, Jamaica, Aruba or Curaqao?
-Do you know if there have been cases of people picking up Lyme disease in any of those places?
I tried checking on the Center for Infectious Disease web site but cant find what I am looking for..please help!
I honestly don't think you can pick up lyme disease in the caribbean. It actually sounds like you had some bad allergic reaction to what ever it was that bit you, that happened to me once to from a bee sting, it was scary to say the least.
Hope its all cleared up by now and you were able to enjoy the cruise. Let us know what you do find out about this, and take care.
Thanks for responding Donna! I actually still have these symptoms now...4 months after the cruise! And actually, the muscle pains just started about 3 weeks ago. But I guess I am glad that I shouldnt pu Lyme disease in the Caribbean...at least I can worry less about that!
Michellle, did you go swimming or just into the water at Seaquarium Beach in Curacauo? This is a man-made beach right next to the Aquarium. I did a couple of years ago, and developed a skin rash on only one of my legs/ankles. I was not alone, but it really burned and was inflammed for several days. I met one other cruiser who had the same type "rash" and she too had swam in that body of water. I never had long occuring problems from it as it did finally clear up with prescription strength hydrocortisone which I happened to have with me. Good Luck and sure hope you recover soon.
Do you live in an area that has deer? Although you were bitten by something in the Caribbean...it may not be the source of your problems. You may have been bitten by a tick since your return.
Quite a few years back.....I had some of the same symptoms that your describe. Particullarly the muscle aches. I had the symptoms for a few months...finally went to a doctor. I was tested for Lymes and it came back negative. A few months later....the symptoms disappeared as quickly as they appeared. To this day, I have no idea what caused my problem.
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Mary Lou I was thinking the very same thing too this weekend. Our local newspaper (New England) ran an article about Lyme disease and the symptoms, mis-diagnosis and all seemed identical. Michelle, don't give up. Seek a specialist and help him with any clues you may think of; allergies, animal contact, changes in your lifestyle, etc. Keep the faith.
If I were you I would not give up on getting tested. I went to Aruba for a week in 2008 and started feeling sick toward the end of my trip. I came back and got progressively worse symptoms (which included those listed by you). Two months later I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I know of two other people that have gotten sick while in Aruba or on their way back from Aruba that have been diagnosed with Lyme disease.
It is my understanding that Leptospirosis, another spirochetal bacteria, is also present in the freshwater of some Caribbean nations. It may or may not be symptomatically similar to Lyme. I have not researched the issue.
If your doctor believes that only deer ticks carry Lyme, then I would seek advice elsewhere as he or she is truly ignorant. Per the Center for Disease Control's website, "The Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, normally lives in mice, squirrels and other small animals." Additionally, some scientists believe that Lyme may be transmitted by mosquitos as well as by ticks.
As I understand it Lymes disease is transmitted by ticks, which live on animals, or lurk in grass waiting fo a passing victim, not much grass in Aruba maybe they also hide in sand? Mind you I have similar symptoms to that & they just say I am old!
I was recently diagnosed with Lyme disease and I have traced it back to tick bites I recieved while horseback riding in Cozumel in November 2009. I do feel sorry for the poor horse, if I had that many ticks on me the horse must have been covered.