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Actor and comedian Amy Schumer announced on Tuesday night that she has Lyme disease and asked friends and fans to text her their advice.
In a post on Instagram, the “I Feel Pretty” actor shared a photo of her with her “first ever fishing pole.”
“Anyone get LYME this summer?” she asked. “I got it and I’m on doxycycline. I have maybe had it for years. Any advice? Can you have a glass of wine or 2 on it?”
Schumer added she’s staying out of the sun and taking “these herbs from cape cod called lyme-2” in addition to the antibiotic she was prescribed.
“I also want to say that I feel good and am excited to get rid of it,” she said.
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Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that spreads through the bite of infected deer ticks.
Usually, people who contract the infection develop a red rash on the skin within a week but up to a month later. Others might not always experience a rash or mistake it for a spider bite.
Lyme disease can also develop several other symptoms — fever, chills, headache, fatigue, joint aches and swollen lymph nodes — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If it’s not immediately diagnosed, Lyme disease can spread to other parts of the body — from joints to the nervous system and the heart.
There also isn’t a definitive way to test for it, as there’s no direct blood test for the bacteria which causes Lyme. Antibody tests just measure the immune system’s response to the bacteria, but doctors have to rely on them — despite studies showing that those tests aren’t always accurate.
In recent months, doctors have warned symptoms of Lyme can seem similar to those of COVID-19 — like fever, chills, muscle aches and fatigue.
“Lyme disease is just as common this year as it was last year or the year before,” Dr. Daniel Cameron, a Lyme disease specialist in private practice in Mount Kisco, New York, told TODAY in July. He said Lyme also has a reputation for imitating other conditions.
“It triggers cytokines, the inflammatory process, and by triggering the whole natural immune system, it will mimic some other infections that affect the immune system,” Cameron said.
Besides the rash, another clue that could differentiate between the two illnesses are the lungs. Lyme tends to spare them, while COVID-19 usually impacts them.
Another possible way to rule out Lyme disease would be to look at where you were possibly exposed to it. The ticks that transmit Lyme are expanding around the country, but historically have predominantly been in the northeast part of the country, as well as Illinois and Minnesota, Dr. Edward Jones-Lopez, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California, told TODAY.
As for whether Schumer can drink a glass or two of wine while taking doxycycline, the Mayo Clinic says she should avoid it.
“Although modest alcohol use doesn’t reduce the effectiveness of most antibiotics, it can reduce your energy and delay how quickly you recover from illness,” Dr. James M. Steckelberg, wrote in a general post on the topic. “So, it’s a good idea to avoid alcohol until you finish your antibiotics and are feeling better.”
Samantha Kubota is a digital journalist and editor for TODAY.com.