Covid-19 scare turns out to be Lyme disease for Franklin Regional soccer coach

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Saturday, August 1, 2020 | 6:49 PM


Rand Hudson had a scorching fever. He felt achy, his joints hurt and he was tired.

Something wasn’t right.

“Oh no, I have it,” Hudson said he thought to himself while trying to enjoy vacation with his family last month in Ocean City, Md.

But while he had symptoms consistent with covid-19, the Franklin Regional boys soccer coach did not have the virus. Waiting to know for sure was an agonizing ordeal. He was tested in Ocean City and then drove a separate vehicle home, where he quarantined for about two weeks. The test result he received 11 days later came back negative.

That was the good news. The bad news was that he still “felt off,” and decided to get another test at a local MedExpress. While the results were faster, they were the same: no coronavirus.

Again, a relief.

A full run of antibiotics eventually did the job, and had Hudson on the mend. But from what?

Hudson was believed to have Lyme disease, the apparent consequence of a pair of tick bites he suffered in his front yard weeks ago.

He had all but forgotten about the bites until a nurse asked him if he’d been bitten by a tick lately.

Lyme disease is treatable, and a rash often is an early sign of the ailment. But Hudson did not have a rash.

Hudson said he did not have a Lyme disease test because he was still waiting for the second covid-19 test result, but medical personnel were confident he had Lyme disease.

The disease, caused by bacteria carried by deer ticks, is not contagious. Regardless, Hudson was not around any of his players while he was ill.

“It was scary,” he said. “I was down and away from people from July 1-16. You don’t know what to think at first. And waiting for the results was tough.

“I am feeling a lot better now. The kids and I are looking forward to a season.”

With the health scare behind him, Hudson can resume summer workouts with his team, the two-time defending WPIAL Class 3A champions who again have the look of a winner.

School districts began implementing health and safety guidelines a few weeks ago as fall sports teams start to gear up for a new season, one the PIAA said can happen, barring any further changes implemented by Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.

Franklin Regional has maintained strict safety protocol, and its teams have followed accordingly. Team workouts are closed — gates literally are locked at Panther Stadium when teams are practicing — and the stadium track has not been open to the public for months.

“We’re all playing it safe,” Hudson said. “The kids are working hard and making the best of the situation. We’re all hoping for a season.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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