Oklahoma woman battling Lyme disease warning others as tick presence starts to creep up

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BIXBY, Okla. – An Oklahoma woman who is battling Lyme disease is warning others as the tick presence starts to creep up.

Alyssa Layman told KJRH that she was bit by an infected seed tick in June 2012.

“I had mood swings, started running a fever, had extreme pain,” Layman said.

Now, Layman says she often has to use an oxygen tank to breathe and relies on help from her family.

“My mom comes home every day, helps me wash my hair, do dishes, helps me cook because I can’t cook for myself,” Layman told KJRH.

“I work really, really hard to have a positive attitude,” Layman continued. “[I] find things in my day that I enjoy.”

As summer approaches and Oklahomans will be spending more time outside, Layman wants to warn of how to prevent the disease.

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, also called deer ticks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states.

Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash.

If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system, according to the CDC.

Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.

Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitat.

“If you get a rash of any kind around a bug bite, definitely go in, get tested,” Layman said.

While the disease is not usually a problem in Oklahoma, officials say it is becoming more prevalent in the Sooner State.