Lyme DiseaseLyme Disease

Lyme disease: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection which is spread by tick bites. When an infected tick bites any person, he can get Lyme disease. It is not all the ticks spread disease; most people do not get Lyme disease even if they are bitten by tick. This is because only infected ticks can spread infection. If a tick is attached to you and you can not remove it, you must see a doctor.

What is the Cause of Lyme disease ?

Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi) bacteria are the cause behind Lyme disease infection.

How does Lyme disease spread?

When a tick infected with B . burgdorferi bacteria bites you, you will get Lyme disease. The bacteria travel to ticks salivary glands when tick bites a person and then it enters into that person’s body through skin. A tick takes at least 24 hours to attach itself to the skin and start feeding. For a tick to transmit bacterial infection for Lyme disease into a human body, it takes about 36 to 48 hours.

Tick can infect dogs, cats and horses by Lyme disease but these animals can not pass the infection to humans. Ticks pick up the bacteria by biting an infected animal and then transmit it other. Lyme disease is common in Asia, Europe, Canada and United States. These ticks are small and usually hide in grass and shrubs.

Though ticks can bite anywhere in the body but certain areas are more prone to tick bite such as the back of the neck, armpits, behind the ears, behind the knees and the groin.

What are the Symptoms of Lyme disease?

The most characteristic sign of Lyme disease is appearance of round and red rash. This rash is present on the site of tick bite and enlarges to become bigger than original rash.

This circular rash is the first sign of Lyme disease is called erythema migrans. This circular rash has “bull’s eye” look. It has a central red spot with clear skin around it. This rash expands in a ring form. It not painful or itchy but is warm to touch. It is difficult to Bull’s eye rash on darker skin.

 Other symptoms which the infected person shows are flu-like. In early period of tick bite, infected person feels tired, headache, fever, sore muscles and joints.

Some people do not feel these symptoms at all in early stages and some may experience these symptoms from 3 days to a month after the tick has bitten.

But in case, Lyme disease is not treated on right time, patient can have serious symptoms like swelling and joint pain like in arthritis, tingling and numbness in hands, feet and back. Other symptoms include a consistent feeling of lack of energy, poor memory, lack of concentration, weakness in face muscles which can be a paralysis also.

How to Diagnose Lyme disease?

The red round rash is a sure sign of Lyme disease and blood tests are done to confirm the Lyme disease infection.

What is the Treatment for Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection; antibiotics are the main course of treatment. Lyme disease is completely cured within 3 weeks after starting the treatment. Start the treatment of Lyme disease as soon as possible for best results. Look for early signs of Lyme disease if a tick was attached to your skin and see a doctor immediately.

If you ignore the treatment for Lyme disease, it can lead to serious problems of skin, heart, joints and nervous system. These problems can affect you within weeks, months or even years after the tick bite.

How to Prevent Lyme disease?

Lyme disease can be prevented only by preventing yourself from tick bite. Whenever you are going to the grassy area, always cover your skin as much as possible. Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants tucked in your socks and hat. Also wear light colored clothes because it is easier to see them on light colored cloths.

There is bug spray which you can spray over your skin. It repels ticks because of chemical DEET. Always check your pets when h\they have been from outside. Pets can bring infection or ticks attached to them.

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