Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber took to Instagram yesterday to share with his 124 million followers that he has been diagnosed with Lyme disease. He also revealed that he has chronic infectious mononucleosis (mono).
Bieber said he was making the revelation following social media speculation that he was battling drug issues. The speculation arose after people noted that Bieber looked unwell in recent photographs.
Bieber said people were speculating that he’s doing “meth.” He denied the speculation and revealed that he was recently diagnosed with Lyme disease.
“While a lot of people kept saying Justin Bieber looks like s***, on meth etc. they failed to realize I’ve been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease, not only that but had a serious case of chronic mono which affected my, skin, brain function, energy, and overall health.”
Bieber added that an upcoming documentary series on YouTube would explain his health issues. He said he’s presently undergoing treatment.
Bieber’s wife, Hailey, also took to Twitter on Wednesday to defend her husband.
“Please do your research and listen to the stories of people who have suffered with it for years,” she tweeted.” Making fun of and belittling a disease you don’t understand is never the way, all it takes is educating yourself.”
For those who are trying to downplay the severity of Lyme disease. Please do your research and listen to the stories of people who have suffered with it for years. Making fun of and belittling a disease you don’t understand is never the way, all it takes is educating yourself.
— Hailey Bieber (@haileybieber) January 8, 2020
What is Lyme disease and how do you get it?
According to the Mayo Clinic, Lyme disease is caused by four species of bacteria transmitted by black-legged ticks. The species of bacteria that cause the illness in the U.S. is different from the species that commonly cause it in Europe and Asia.
The illness spreads through the bite of black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks. You are more likely to get the disease if you visit grassy and wooded areas where the ticks live.
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?
One of the first signs of Lyme disease is a small reddish bump appearing at the site of a tick bite. The bump is similar to the skin’s reaction to a mosquito bite.
Not everyone bitten by a black-legged tick gets Lyme disease. To get Lyme disease, you have to be bitten by a tick infected with the bacteria that causes the illness.
The early symptoms of Lyme disease, according to Mayo Clinic, include rash, body aches, weakness or fatigue, headache, neck stiffness, chills, and fever. Some patients also have swollen lymph nodes. The early symptoms appear three weeks to a month after a tick bite.
If left untreated, the illness gets worse, and patients suffer a rash called erythema migrans. Patients also have severe joint pain, swelling, and neurological problems.
Late-stage patients suffer meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain), Bell’s palsy (temporary paralysis of one side of the face), heart problems, liver and eye inflammation, and impairment of muscle function.
Is there a cure for Lyme disease?
Treatment for Lyme disease includes oral or intravenous antibiotics, such as doxycycline, amoxicillin or cefuroxime, according to Mayo Clinic. The majority of patients who take the full course of treatment make a full recovery.
You can take precautions to prevent illness in tick-infested grassy and wooded areas by covering your skin, using insect repellents, and clearing the bush around your home. You should also examine your skin regularly and remove ticks promptly.
What is chronic mono and how do you get it?
According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic mono refers to infectious mononucleosis that recurs months or years after the initial infection and illness.
Infectious mononucleosis is typically caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and people infected with the virus carry it for the rest of their lives.
The infection remains in a dormant state in most people. However, in rare cases, the viral infection becomes active once again, and the illness recurs.
People who have a weakened immune system, such as people with AIDS, are more susceptible to chronic mono.
The symptoms of mono include fatigue, sore throat, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. The infection is spread through the saliva.
How is mono treated?
There’s no specific treatment for infectious mononucleosis. Mono is a viral illness, and antibiotics are not effective against viral illnesses.
However, you can boost your immunity by getting plenty of rest, good nutrition, and plenty of fluids. You can also relieve aches, pain, and sore throat with over-the-counter medication.
Your doctor may also prescribe medication to treat secondary infections.