GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - This is the time of year when ticks make their debut, bringing with them the risk of Lyme Disease.
But this year there's a new effort to fight that disease, now in the limelight.
First it was the Ice Bucket Challenge, now people are taking a bite out of lime.
It's a sour-faced social media stunt that is not about the food but about the disease.
The Take a Bite out of Lyme Disease Challenge benefits the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society. Those who do the challenge, taking a bite out of a lime, are asked to donate $10, those who don't, $100.
Family physician Dr. Betty Maloney is a board member of the society who lives in the Twin Cities metro area.
One goal of the campaign, she said, is to raise awareness about the deer ticks that carry the disease, "Knowing where deer ticks are and aren't, and they actually are in the seven county metro and using repellents and insecticides to avoid it."
The other goal, Maloney said, is, "To improve an understanding of Lyme Disease because when physicians can understand and treat Lyme appropriately, patients will have better outcomes."
Lyme disease can be complex. Symptoms can range from the better-known bulls-eye rash, which Maloney said is actually not that common, to flu-like symptoms, joint pain, nerve pain and even memory loss. Often mistaken for other diseases, Lyme is sometimes called, "The great imitator."
To do the challenge, record it for social media and include a fact about Lyme Disease. Then take a bite of a lime and share your challenge with friends.
Along with humans, ticks are also a danger to our pets. It's a good idea to talk with your vet about ways to protect them as well.