The lawyers at Aaron Waxman & Associates are experienced with Disability, Personal Injury and Employment claims.
There has been an increase in the number of cases of Lyme disease in southern Ontario over the past few years.
Lyme disease is not easily diagnosed. It can take months before a proper diagnosis is received because the symptoms of Lyme disease mimic those of so many other conditions. The symptoms of Lyme disease can last for a prolonged period of time, and a person can develop chronic Lyme disease and may be unable to continue working and apply for long-term disability benefits if they have access to those type of benefits through their employer or an individual plan.
Because Lyme disease is difficult to immediately diagnose or treat, and because of the nature of the symptoms, it has been referred to as an “invisible illness”. When applying for long-term disability benefits, it is important to show that you have attended treatment, seen specialists and treating physicians on a regular basis and are complying with treatment recommendations, especially when it comes to an invisible illness.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is an inflammatory type of infection. The early symptoms may resemble a flu or cold and that’s why many people do not realize that they may have Lyme disease. Lyme disease is caused by a type of bacteria called Borrelia Burgdorferi.
How Do You Contract Lyme Disease?
Infected backlegged ticks can spread Lyme disease to humans. Backlegged ticks are typically found in forests and overgrown areas between woods and open spaces. Ticks become infected by feeding on infected wild animals such as deer, birds and rodents. Once the ticks are infected, they can spread the bacteria to humans and pets (dogs in particular).
Lyme disease cannot be spread from human to human or animal to human. It is spread by infected ticks, and pets can carry infected ticks into your home.
What Are the Symptoms of Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease has symptoms that mimic other illnesses. There are 3 “stages” of Lyme disease: the early infection stage which occurs within the first few days. The second stage is when the infection spreads in the days to weeks following the infection and the final stage is when it turns into “chronic” Lyme disease, which occurs if the infection is left untreated or has not been properly treated for months or years after the infection.
According to the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation, Lyme disease is the most treatable at the early infection stage and becomes harder to treat and diagnose as time goes on. Symptoms become worse as time passes without treatment or proper diagnosis and can appear quickly, or gradually over time.
It is also interesting to note that many people are infected by “nymph” ticks, which are only the size of a period at the end of a sentence and don’t remember being bitten.
Symptoms can include and are not limited to:
Is There Treatment for Lyme disease?
According to the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation, Lyme disease can be mistaken for many other illnesses/diseases including:
There are different kind of blood tests that can be done to check for Lyme disease. For more information on testing, visit the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation’s site. Once you have been tested for Lyme disease and diagnosed, treatment options include:
Stay tuned for our next blog post which will look at risk factors, prevention and safety tips regarding Lyme disease.
If your long-term disability claim has been denied for any reason, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you understand your insurance policy and any time limitations you may be subject to. The lawyers at Aaron Waxman and Associates have represented many clients who have had denied long-term disability claims. Do not hesitate to contact our office to arrange a free, initial consultation.
* This blog is for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute legal advice. Please read our disclaimer for further information.
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* Office in Toronto and able to represent people in the province of Ontario