Lyme

Lyme disease is caused by four different bacteria types which are Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia mayonii, Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia. It is the most common tick-borne infection that spreads by the bite of an infected black-legged tick, sometimes known as a deer tick.

If you live or spend time in grassy or heavily wooded areas where ticks carrying Lyme disease thrive, you're more likely to contract the condition. In tick-infested locations, it's vital to use precautions.

Symptoms

Lyme disease manifests itself in a variety of ways. They normally appear in stages, however, some of the stages may overlap.

Symptoms and early warning indicators

A little, red lump that looks like a mosquito bite often forms at the site of a tick bite or tick removal and goes away in a few days. This is a common occurrence that does not mean you have Lyme disease.

These signs and symptoms, however, might appear as soon as a month after you've been infected:

Rash

Rash: An increasing red patch that sometimes clears in the middle, forming a bulls-eye pattern, may emerge three to 30 days following an infected tick bite. The rash grows slowly over days and can reach a diameter of 12 inches (30 centimeters). It isn't usually itchy or uncomfortable, although it can cause a warming sensation.

The rash erythema migrans is one of the hallmarks of Lyme disease, albeit it does not appear in everyone who has the infection. This rash might appear on more than one part of the body in some persons.

Other symptoms

The rash may be accompanied by fever, chills, weariness, body aches, headache, neck stiffness, and swollen lymph nodes.

Signs and symptoms that appear later

If left untreated, new signs and symptoms of Lyme disease may arise in the weeks and months ahead. These are some of them:

Erythema migrans (erythema)

It's possible that the rash will spread to other parts of your body.

Joint discomfort

Your knees are more likely to be affected by bouts of severe joint pain and swelling, although the pain might transfer from one joint to another.

Problems with the nervous system

You may develop inflammation of the membranes around your brain (meningitis), temporary paralysis of one side of your face (Bell's palsy), numbness or weakness in your limbs, and reduced muscular action for weeks, months, or even years after infection.


When To See Doctor?

If you've been bitten by a tick and are experiencing symptoms, don't panic. Only a small percentage of insect bites result in Lyme disease. The longer a tick is stuck to your skin, the more likely you are to contract the disease. If the tick is attached for less than 36 to 48 hours.

If you believe you've been bitten and have signs and symptoms of Lyme disease, see your doctor, especially if you live in an area where Lyme disease is frequent. Lyme disease treatment is more effective if it is started early.

Get the best treatment for Lyme and other infectious diseases by top general physicians and dermatologists at Medicover Hospitals.


Causes

Lyme is caused because of germs that are present in deer ticks. Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii germs carried mostly by black-legged or deer ticks, cause Lyme disease. Young brown ticks can be as little as a poppy seed, making them practically impossible to detect.

When you are bitten by an infected deer tick then you get Lyme disease. The bacteria enter your skin through the bite and then travel through your bloodstream.

A deer tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours in most cases to transmit Lyme disease. If you locate a bloated connected tick, it may have fed long enough to spread germs. Infection can be avoided by removing the tick as soon as feasible.


Risk factors

Your risks of contracting Lyme disease are influenced by where you live or travel. The following are the most common risk factors:

Spending time in the woods or on the grass -

Deer ticks are typically prevalent in heavily wooded areas of the Northeast and Midwest in the United States. Children who spend a lot of time outside in these areas are particularly vulnerable. Adults who work outside are also at a higher risk.

Uncovered skin -

Ticks have an easy time attaching to unprotected skin. If you live in a region where ticks are abundant, wear long sleeves and pants to protect yourself and your children. Allowing your pets to explore through tall weeds and grasses is not a good idea.

Remove the ticks quickly and completely from the skin-

If a tick bite remains attached to your skin for 36 to 48 hours or longer, bacteria from the bite can enter your circulation. You have a reduced risk of getting this if you remove a tick within two days.


Prevention

Avoiding areas where deer ticks reside, especially wooded, bushy areas with long grass, is the right way to avoid this disease. With a few basic steps, you can reduce the chances of contracting this disease:

Keep your head down

Wear shoes, long pants tucked into your socks, a long-sleeved shirt, a hat, and gloves when walking through woodland or grassy regions. Stick to the pathways and stay away from the low bushes and extensive grass. Keep your dog on a leash at all times.

Insect repellents should be used

Apply insect repellent on your skin. Parents should apply repellent to their children's hands, eyes, and mouth while avoiding their hands, eyes, and mouth. Remember that chemical repellents can be hazardous, so read the labels carefully. Apply permethrin-containing products to clothing or purchase clothing that has already been treated.

Keep your home garden tick-free

Tick-infested areas should be cleared of brush and leaves. Mow your grass on a regular basis. To deter tick-carrying rodents, stack wood neatly in dry, sunny regions.

Showering as soon as you come from outdoors

Ticks can stay on your skin for several hours before attaching. Unattached ticks may be removed by showering and using a washcloth.
Ticks can be found on your clothing, yourself, your children, and your pets. After spending time in woodland or grassy places, be extra cautious. Because deer ticks are often barely bigger than a pinhead, you may not notice them unless you check thoroughly.

Tweezers should be used to remove ticks as quickly as possible

Take the tick by the head or mouth and gently grab it. Pull the tick gently and steadily, rather than squeezing or crushing it. Once the tick has been completely removed, dispose of it by soaking it in alcohol or flushing it down the toilet, then treat the bite area with antiseptic.


Diagnosis

Many of the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease overlap with those of other illnesses, making diagnosis challenging. Ticks that transmit Lyme disease can potentially transmit other infections.

If you don't have the typical Lyme disease rash, your doctor will likely inquire about your medical history, as well as if you've been outside during the summer, when Lyme disease is widespread, and perform a physical examination

Antibodies to the microorganisms can be found in lab tests, which can assist confirm or rule out the diagnosis. Following your body has had time to generate antibodies, these tests are most reliable a few weeks after an illness.


Treatment

Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. In general, the sooner therapy begins, the faster and more thorough the recovery will be.

Antibiotics taken orally

These are the most common treatments for Lyme disease in its early stages. Adults and children over the age of eight should take doxycycline, whereas adults, smaller children, and pregnant or breastfeeding women should take amoxicillin or cefuroxime.

Antibiotics given intravenously

If the sickness affects the central nervous system, your doctor may prescribe intravenous antibiotic treatment for 14 to 28 days. Although this is helpful in removing infection, it may take some time for you to recover from your symptoms.


Do's And Don'ts

A person with Lyme disease has to follow sets of do’s and don’ts to manage it and related symptoms and infections.

Do’s Don’ts
Wear protective clothing, long sleeves, and long pants to cover parts of the body. Wait to notice symptoms after black-legged tick bites.
Understand the symptoms. Self medicate for any rashes or infections.
Take medical assistance if you are not able to pull out the black-legged tick. Stop taking medications suddenly.
Take antibiotics and apply lotions regularly. Visit grasslands without wearing boots or shoes
Avoid areas that are wooded, brushy,or have grass. Forget to seek medical assistance if your condition does not get better.
Shower immediately after you come from outside. Touch or scratch the bitten area.

Lyme can cause irritation and other skin infection problems. Follow the above tips to prevent lyme.


Care at Medicover Hospitals

At Medicover Hospitals, we have the most trusted team of doctors and medical experts who are experienced in providing excellent healthcare services to the patients with compassion and care. Our diagnostic department is equipped with modern technology and equipment to conduct the tests required for the diagnosis of Lyme disease based on which a dedicated treatment plan is designed. We have an excellent team of infectious disease specialists who diagnose and treat this condition with utmost precision that brings successful treatment outcomes.

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