Hampton Man May Have Lyme Disease

Health officials are investigating a suspected case of lyme disease in

Larry Spruill lives and works in the Foxhill area of the city and was
diagnosed with the disease Thursday.

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria – and individuals get it from infected
deer ticks.

Deer ticks are so small, many people may not even know they’ve been bitten –
which is the case with Spruill who began having symptoms three days ago.

“It’s horrible,” says Spruill. “I’ve had broken bones and I’m not in as much
pain as I’m in right now.”

The bull’s eye shaped rash on Spruill’s arm is usually a dead giveaway for
lyme disease.

It’s typically the first sign and can develop anywhere from three to 30 days
after being bitten by a deer tick.

Spruill also has many of the other symptoms.

“I was having pains in my joints and muscles,” says Spruill. “My lips are
numb, neck’s stiff. I’ve been sweating really bad.”

Doctors at Sentara Emergency Services diagnosed Spruill with a possible case
of lyme disease – but a blood test will be needed to verify.

Spruill doesn’t know where he may have been bitten – but he clears land for
a living and says the woods behind his house are full of deer.

And where there are deer, there are deer ticks – the tiny carriers of this
dreaded disease.

The good news is lyme disease can be cured if treated early.

If not treated, however, it can lead to joint, heart, and nervous system

The best way to prevent lyme disease is to protect yourself from head to

a If you’re out in a wooded or tick infested area, wear a hat, long
sleeves, pants and socks.
b Use a bug repellent with 30 percent DEET on any exposed skin.

For more information in keeping your family safe, click here.
[ http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/lyme/spotlight/ ]

The blood test for lyme disease usually takes several days – so Spruill
won’t know until next week if he definitely has the disease.

The Hampton health department says Lyme Disease is rare for this area of the

For more information on lyme disease from the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, click here.
[ http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/lyme/ ]

For information on tick bourne diseases from the Virginia Department of
Health, click here.
[ http://www.vdh.state.va.us/epi/tickpage.htm ]