This proclamation was achieved through the efforts of the Alabama Lyme Disease Association (ALDA).
WHEREAS, Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by spirochetal bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi; and
WHEREAS, scientists have identified more strains and species of Borrelia brugdorferi in the South than in the Northeast; Lyme borrelisosis and other tick-borne diseases are seriously under-reported across the nation; and
WHEREAS, ticks, the host of Lyme disease, are carried by mice, rabbits, squirrels, deer, birds and other animals; and
WHEREAS, traditional methods of removing embedded ticks are dangerous and can increase the risk of acquiring the infection; ticks can be so small and hard to detect that many people who contract Lyme disease do not recall being bitten; and
WHEREAS, prompt treatment with adequate antibiotic therapy in the early stage infection may cure Lyme disease, thereby preventing permanent damage and complications of progressive Lyme disease; and
WHEREAS, in some cases, untreated or inadequately treated Lyme disease can lead to death; lack of early recognition, diagnosis, and treatment can result in permanent physical damage, therefore many Lyme patients are left disabled; and
WHEREAS, Lyme disease can affect the brain, heart, joints and other body organs, and mimics many other diseases; some patients do not develop the characteristic rash, and symptoms may not appear for months to years following initial infection; patients are often misdiagnosed with more familiar conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, depression or psychiatric illness; and
WHEREAS, the science surrounding Lyme and tick-borne diseases is unclear and emerging, and testing may be inaccurate; citizens and medical providers are encouraged to take all tick-borne diseases seriously:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert Bentley, Governor of Alabama, do hereby proclaim the month of May 2013, as
Lyme Disease Awareness Month
in the state of Alabama and encourage our citizens to become better educated about this illness and how they can protect themselves from infection.