Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Tony Bennett

Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Tony Bennett

Singer Thalia raises awareness for Lyme disease

Many know Thalia for her Latin-Pop music and her performances in Telenovelas. What many may not know is that a couple of years ago Thalia suffered from Lyme disease, a rare infection transferred by blacklegged ticks, which changed her life.

“With Lyme you have to change your lifestyle, your nutrition; you have to have a more natural, healthy and positive focus,” said Thalia to El Diario.

Like Thalia, there are many that are affected by the disease annually. In 2010 alone there were 22,561 reported cases of Lyme disease in the United States according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most cases come from the northeast, mid-Atlantic, and north-central United States.  There is also a large concentration in states such as New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York where the actress currently lives.

The CDC reports that typical symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, headaches, fatigue, and red skin rashes.

“It’s terrible, you can’t control the pain, you know something is wrong with you but you don’t know what to do, you can’t concentrate. This is an illness that attacks your brain, sometimes you lose your words, your speech, you can’t move, or get up from bed.” Thalia, 40, told El Diario.

Lyme carrying ticks are often found in the outdoors and are most active during the cooler months of the year according to the CDC.

Latinos tend to go on picnics on Sundays and we throw ourselves on the grass with the kids to eat,” said Thalia. “You need to be cautious, because here could be ticks that change every ones lives, from the baby to the grandpa,” added Thalia.

The actress created a Spanish language Lyme education website, where people can find facts, prevention tips, and treatments of the disease.  She also devotes a chapter of the disease in her memoir, “Growing Stronger,” released in November 2011.

“People suffer because there is not enough awareness of this illness, anyone can have it and there isn’t a vaccine that can cure it,” said Thalia to El Diario.

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