Lyme disease

Overview The causes of Lyme disease are four main species of bacteria. The species Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii cause Lyme disease in the various States. An infected black-legged tick, commonly known as a deer tick causes Lyme disease. People in grassy and heavily wooded areas such as hiking or camping in forests that are […]

Overview

The causes of Lyme disease are four main species of bacteria. The species Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii cause Lyme disease in the various States. An infected black-legged tick, commonly known as a deer tick causes Lyme disease.

People in grassy and heavily wooded areas such as hiking or camping in forests that are likely to get the disease. Ticks in this place mostly carry the infection.

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Symptoms

Lyme disease can be diagnosed by 'bull's eye' rash alone - BBC News

Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease vary and they usually appear in stages, but the stages can overlap.

Early signs and symptoms

A small, red bump that is similar to the bump of a mosquito bite usually appears at the site of a tick bite or tick removal and resolves over a few days. This normal occurrence does not indicate Lyme disease.

Some of the long term signs Lynne disease are;

  • Rash;  if you get bitten by an infected tick an expanding red area might appear from three to thirty days after the bitting. The affected area is sometimes clear in the center, forming a bulls-eye pattern. The rash is known as erythema migrans and commonly expands gradually over days. The rash is not itchy or painful. Instead, it might feel warm to the touch. Erythema migrans is one of the hallmarks of Lyme disease. However, not everyone with Lyme disease develops the rash. Inversely, some people develop this rash at more than one place on their bodies.
  • Other symptoms; Fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, headache, neck stiffness, and swollen lymph nodes can accompany the rash.

Later signs and symptoms

If untreated, new signs and symptoms of Lyme infection might appear. These include:

  • Erythema migrans rashes may appear in some parts of your body.
  • Joint pain spells of severe joint pain and swelling are especially likely to affect your knees, but the pain can shift from one joint to another.
  • Neurological problems after a long time inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain (meningitis), temporary paralysis of one side of your face (Bell’s palsy), numbness or weakness in your limbs, and negatively impacted muscle movement may be a result.

Less common signs and symptoms

Not long after the infection, some people may develop;

  • Heart problems, eg an irregular heartbeat
  • Eye inflammation
  • Liver inflammation (hepatitis)
  • Severe fatigue

When to see a doctor

If you’ve been bitten by a tick and have symptoms

Not all tick bites lead to Lynne disease. If the tick remains attached to the surface of your skin for long, the greater your risk of getting the disease. The infection is minimal if the tick is attached just for a while.

Treating the infection at the early stages is advisable.

See your doctor even if symptoms disappear

If you have no visible signs seek doctors’ advice. the absence of the signs doesn’t always mean you are free from the disease.

Causes

Lyme disease is commonly caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii, carried primarily by black-legged or deer ticks in the Us. Young brown ticks often are no bigger than a poppy seed, which can make them nearly impossible to spot.

Lyme disease is contracted if an infected deer tick bites you. The bacteria enter your skin through the bite and eventually make their way into your bloodstream.

In most cases, to transmit Lyme disease, a deer tick must be attached to your skin for 36 to 48 hours. If you find an attached tick that looks swollen, it may have fed long enough to transmit bacteria. Removing the tick as soon as possible might prevent infection.

Risk factors

Your habitation can be of great influence on the disease. The most common risk factors for Lyme disease include:

  • Spending time in wooded or grassy areas. In the United States, deer ticks are common in the heavily wooded areas of the Northeast and Midwest. Children who spend a lot of time outdoors in these regions are especially at risk. Adults with outdoor occupations also are at increased risk.
  • Having exposed skin. Ticks attach easily to bare flesh. If you’re in an area where ticks are common, protect yourself and your children by wearing long sleeves and long pants. Don’t allow your pets to wander in tall weeds and grasses.
  • Not removing ticks quickly or properly. Bacteria from a tick bite can enter your bloodstream if the tick stays attached to your skin for 36 to 48 hours or longer. If you remove a tick within two days, your risk of acquiring Lyme disease is very low.

Complications

If Lyme disease becomes dominant it can cause:

  • Chronic joint inflammation (Lyme arthritis), particularly of the knee
  • Neurological symptoms, such as facial palsy and neuropathy
  • Cognitive defects, such as impaired memory
  • Heart rhythm irregularities

NICE provides advice on diagnosing Lyme disease | GPonline

Prevention

Avoiding areas where deer ticks live, especially wooded, bushy areas with long wild grass can help you escape Lyme disease. To limit the chances of the disease infection by doing the following;

  • Cover up wear shoes, long pants tucked into your socks, a long-sleeved shirt, a hat, and gloves while in wooded or grassy areas. Walking through low bushes and long grass. Keep your dog on a leash so your pet remains safe too.
  • Use insect repellents to apply the repellant carefully in your clothes. Avoid touching the eyes sensitive parts and adhere to the instructions.
  • Tick-proof your yard clear brush and leaves where ticks live. Mow your lawn regularly. Stack wood neatly in dry, sunny areas to discourage rodents that carry ticks.
  • Check for ticks do thorough checking of your clothes and your pet. Keep in mind that ticks remain in your clothes for a while before they decide to attack.
  • Don’t assume you’re immune the disease can affect you more than once.
  • Remove a tick as soon as possible with tweezers remove the tick gently using tweezers and dispose it at a safe place where it can reach another person.

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