Justin Bieber reveals he has 2 infectious diseases: Here’s what you need to know about Lyme disease and chronic mono
On Jan 9, Canadian singer and songwriter Justin Bieber revealed on his Instagram that he is battling two infectious diseases - Lyme disease which is an infectious disease spread by ticks and chronic mono that mostly spreads through saliva (kissing and sharing utensils).
View this post on Instagram
While a lot of people kept saying justin Bieber looks like shit, 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. These things will be explained further in a docu series I'm putting on YouTube shortly.. you can learn all that I've been battling and OVERCOMING!! It's been a rough couple years but getting the right treatment that will help treat this so far incurable disease and I will be back and better than ever NO CAP
A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on
Explaining his illness on his Instagram account, he wrote, “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.”
What are these two diseases?
Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. The disease spreads through the bite of ticks and shows up as flu-like symptoms, which include fever, headache, chills, muscle ache and swelling of the lymph nodes.
Erythema migrans rash, a red skin rash that appears within 3 to 30 days after the tick bite, is the characteristic symptom of the disease. However, according to the Center for Disease Control, USA, only 70 to 80% of people develop this rash and even without treatment, the rash may disappear within a month. As a result, the disease is really difficult to identify. Treatment usually includes antibiotics. It takes a few weeks before antibodies against the bacteria show up in a person’s blood, which delays treatment in some cases.
If left untreated, Lyme disease can affect the heart, bones and brain and lead to muscle weakness, numbness and paralysis in some cases.
Mononucleosis or mono, on the other hand, is caused due to Epstein Barr virus (EBV) of the herpes virus family. The virus most commonly spreads through kissing (mono is also called the kissing disease) but also through sharing utensils. It causes fever, headache, swelling in the tonsils, and sore throat. Mono also shows up as pinkish measles-like skin rashes.
In chronic mono, the disease keeps on coming back after the person is treated completely. The patient often experiences fatigue right before the relapse. Chronic mono is almost always accompanied by depression.
Mononucleosis is treated through symptomatic management, which includes fluid replacement, rest and painkillers. Antiviral drugs are also given to control the viral load. Patients usually keep on having symptom relapse that stays for a while before limiting itself.
How to be safe from these diseases?
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a tick needs to be attached to a person’s body for at least 2-3 days to spread the bacteria to their blood and cause Lyme disease. Though some ticks can be too small to be identified. Isolated cases of Lyme diseases have been identified in India though it is not as common here. Lyme ticks are found in the Himalayan region. Here are some things you should remember to prevent tick bites if you are visiting an area that may have ticks:
- Wear light coloured and full-sleeved clothes so you can easily see the ticks and be safe from tick bites. Don’t forget to wear insect repellants on your skin and clothes.
- After you come back, check your clothes and your body for any ticks (including your scalp) and then take a bath.
If you do see a tick, do not try to pull it out with your fingers. Use a pair of tweezers and hold the tick from its head or mouth. Do not leave its head embedded in your skin and do not squish the tick. Clean the area with soap and water and keep the tick in a jar to show it to your doctor. Then look for the signs of Lyme disease for a few weeks.
To prevent mono, try not sharing utensils or your toothbrush with anybody who you think has infectious mononucleosis.
In his Instagram post, Bieber wrote that doctors were unable to find what was wrong with him for long before they diagnosed him with Lyme and that is why he was depressed during that time. Bieber is soon going to make a youtube series on his life and will be talking all about this health struggle in it.
For more on this topic, please read our article on Lyme Disease.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
Updated Date: Jan 10, 2020 14:46:34 IST
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