When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Twitter account has shared a photo in an attempt to spread awareness of Lyme disease, it probably didn't expect there would be such a ruckus.
On May 4, the CDC posted a couple of photos showing a delectable poppy seed muffin. However, nothing can be farther from the truth upon closer inspection.
"Ticks can be the size of a poppy seed. Can you spot all 5 ticks in this photo?" the CDC asked.
There they were — five blood-sucking arachnids camouflaged among the poppy seeds. To be fair, CDC's intentions were pure. It wanted to warn the public about tick-borne infections including Lyme disease, which the agency said are on the rise.
Understandably, muffin lovers of the world were horrified beyond relief over the CDC's photo, with many users aghast at the agency's good-intentioned awareness campaign.
The CDC later apologized, albeit in a joking way.
"Sorry we ticked some of you off!"
Here are some of the best reactions on Twitter:
What kind of asshole puts ticks on a muffin? — Tippy Tinkletrousers (@Pollyesther34) May 6, 2018
At least it's not an ebola muffin... — Christopher Wylie (@chrisinsilico) May 4, 2018
I love you @BuzzFeed but this pisses me off https://t.co/jLsbbSep0f
Sorry your favorite snack got ruined by a picture of ticks, but hundreds of thousands of lives have been ruined because of these ticks. Please get aware before you post something. #LymeDiseaseAwarenessMonth — Cassidy (@CassidyMaree30) May 8, 2018
Way to ruin poppyseed muffins CDC https://t.co/bO5nAhyogg — Kirti Patel, MD (@kirtipatelmd) May 5, 2018
CDC out here trying to ruin muffins for us fat people https://t.co/4TpuefQFMx — Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) May 6, 2018
CDC Warns Against Tick Season
Over the next three months, more people are expected to get bitten by ticks than any other period throughout the whole year, according to the CDC. A study in 2016 found that Lyme disease-carrying ticks are present in nearly half of all U.S. counties. Every year, there are 30,000 reported cases of the disease, but the agency thinks the actual number of diagnoses is way larger — about 300,000.
If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause serious complication, including severe arthritis or neurological and cardiac problems.
Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Untreated Lyme disease can exhibit a number of symptoms depending on the stage of the infection, according to the CDC. Below are the signs and symptoms that typically occur days to months after a tick bite:
• Severe headaches and neck stiffness.
• Additional EM rashes on other areas of the body.
• Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints.
• Facial palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face).
• Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones.
• Heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat (Lyme carditis).
• Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath.
• Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.
• Nerve pain.
• Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet.
• Problems with short-term memory.