Canadian Pop star Avril Lavigne has People Magazine’s cover story this month after going public with the fact that she became bedridden after contracting Lyme disease.
“When a tick bites you, it has an anesthetic in its saliva that actually numbs the surface of your skin so you don’t feel the bite, and that’s why people don’t know that a tick is latched onto them and is biting them,” says Dr. Erica Lehman, a tick-borne disease specialist.
“If bitten, early symptoms include headaches, nausea, numbness, muscle aches, extreme fatigue and Bell’s palsy,” Lehman says of the manifestations on the more minor side of the spectrum. Severe symptoms include dementia and arthritis.
“It can affect people physically, cognitively and psychologically,” she continues.
It is “the fastest growing epidemic in the world,” says Lehman.
For People’s exclusive details on Avril Lavigne’s journey and how she’s positively picking up her career again after battling Lyme disease, pick up the latest issue at newsstands this Friday.