SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Beloved San Francisco radio host Jefferey “JV” Vandergrift was found dead Wednesday in the water at Pier 39, San Francisco Police Department officials confirmed to KRON4. While hosting WiLD 94.9’s “The JV Show,” he not only entertained listeners through their mornings, but also talked openly about his battle with Lyme disease.

In a heartfelt blog post, JV wrote that he was unsure of when he was bit by a tick and contracted the disease. He experienced symptoms for many months before he was finally diagnosed in 2021. The physical pain was so bad that he tried to kill himself and was held for days against his will at a psychiatric hospital.  

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is an infection that, if left untreated, can affect the joints, heart and nervous system transmitted to humans through blacklegged ticks carrying the bacteria. Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans–the bullseye-shaped rash found around the bite site.

Those infected with Lyme disease may exhibit a bullseye-shaped rash at the bite site. (Photo: CDC)

Lyme disease symptoms

Not all people bitten by ticks will contact Lyme disease. But, if you are experiencing any of the below early symptoms within a few weeks of getting bitten, get checked out by a doctor immediately:

  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Facial paralysis
  • Arthritis

How do you get Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by bites from blacklegged ticks. Ticks carrying Lyme disease are most commonly found in wooded areas in the northeast and mid-Atlantic, from northeastern Virginia to Maine, the north central states, mostly in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and the West Coast, particularly northern California, where blacklegged ticks are found.

For more information on Lyme disease contact your doctor or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.