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Everything You Should Know About Lyme Disease

Lyme disease

A bacterial infection causes Lyme disease. When a black-legged tick, sometimes call it as a deer tick, bites you and remains attached for 36 to 48 hours, you get infected. You probably won’t develop the infection if you remove the tick within 48 hours.

If you do contract the infection, the germs go through your bloodstream and harm numerous bodily tissues. Lyme disease can develop into an inflammatory disorder that impacts several systems, starting with your skin, joints, and nervous system and progressing to your organs later on if untreated.

Three to thirty days after the bite, symptoms may appear. Depending on the stage of your infection, they could seem different. Sometimes you won’t experience any symptoms for months after ticks had bitten you.

Early Signs of Lime Disease

Signs of Lime Disease

At the location of a tick bite or tick removal, a tiny, red bump that resembles the bump of a mosquito bite frequently develops and goes away over the course of a few days. This typical event does not suggest Lyme illness.

However, a month after infection, you may have these signs and symptoms:

  • Rash – A growing red patch that occasionally becomes visible in the center, like a bulls-eye pattern, may emerge three to thirty days following an infected tick bite. The rash (erythema migrans) can spread to a diameter of 12 inches (30 cm) over the course of several days. Usually not unpleasant or uncomfortable, although it may feel warm to the touch.

Though not all people with Lyme disease get the rash, it is one of the symptoms call it as erythema migrans. This rash can appear on some people’s bodies in many locations.

  • Further signs – The rash may be accompanied by fever, chills, lethargy, body pains, headaches, stiff neck, and enlarged lymph nodes.

Additional symptoms and signs

If left untreated, more Lyme infection symptoms and indications may develop over the coming weeks or months. These consist of:

  • Migratory erythema – Other parts of your body may also develop the rash.
  • Painful joints – Your knees are more prone to have bouts of intense joint pain and swelling, although the pain might move across different joints.
  • Neurological conditions – You may experience numbness or weakness in your limbs, meningitis (inflammation of the membranes around the brain), Bell’s palsy (temporary paralysis of one side of the face), and reduced muscle action for weeks, months, or even years after infection

Less typical symptoms and signs

A few weeks following infection, some persons experience:

  • Heart issues, such as a fast or slow heartbeat
  • Eye irritation
  • A swollen liver (hepatitis)
  • Extreme tiredness

Identification of Lyme disease

Identification of Lyme disease

Based on your symptoms and if you’ve been exposed to a tick, your doctor will make a diagnosis. A blood test might also be performed. The test can come out negative during the first several weeks of illness since it takes time for antibodies to develop.

Hopefully, soon, tests will be available that can detect Lyme illness within a few weeks of exposure. The sooner you receive treatment, the less probable it is that it will worsen.

Phases of Lyme Infection

Following are the three phases:

  • Early signs of localized Lyme disease include flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, enlarged lymph nodes, sore throat, and an itchy, bullseye-shaped, red, and at least 2-inch-long rash.
  • Early stages of widespread Lyme disease include flu-like symptoms such as discomfort, numbness, or weakness in the arms and legs, changes in eyesight, palpitations in the chest, a rash that may or may not be a bulls-eye rash, and Bell’s palsy, a kind of facial paralysis.
  • Lately spread Lyme: After the tick bite, this may occur weeks, months, or even years later. Arthritis, excruciating weariness, migraines, vertigo, insomnia, and disorientation are possible symptoms.

10% of those who receive treatment for a Lyme infection never fully recover. Three main symptoms may develop later on: weariness, short-term memory loss, and joint or muscular discomfort. Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome is the term useful for this. Due to its similarity to other illnesses’ symptoms, it might be challenging to diagnose. Additionally, there is no blood test to verify it.

Why Lyme symptoms don’t always go away is a mystery to experts. According to one explanation, your body continues to battle the illness like an autoimmune condition long after the germs have vanished.

Treatment for Lyme illness

Treatment for Lyme illness

Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for Lyme disease. Early localized illness can be treatable with a straightforward 10- to 14-day course of oral antibiotics to get rid of the infection.

  • Doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime are first-line therapies for adults and children with Lyme disease.
  • Cefuroxime and amoxicillin are also used to treat persons who are nursing.

Some types of Lyme disease, such as those that affect the heart or central nervous system (CNS), are treatable with intravenous (IV) antibiotics.

Healthcare practitioners generally transition to an oral regimen once patients have improved and completed the course of treatment. Typically, the entire course of therapy lasts 14 to 28 days.

Is the Lyme illness spreadable?

There is no proof that Lyme disease spreads among humans. Furthermore, there are no instances of the transmission of Lyme disease through breast milk, according to the CDC Trusted Source.

The bacterium that causes Lyme disease is a transmittable disease by black-legged deer ticks. Although these germs are present in human fluids, there is no proof that Lyme disease may be spread by sneezing, coughing, or kissing.

Additionally, there is no proof that Lyme disease can spread through blood transfusions or through sexual contact.

Prevention of Lyme illness

Getting bitten by a tick less frequently is the main method of preventing Lyme disease. Take the following actions to avoid being bitten by ticks:

  • When outside, put on long trousers and long sleeve shirts.
  • By removing any forested areas, reducing the amount of underbrush, and placing woodpiles in sunny spots, you may make your yard uninviting to ticks.
  • Apply repellent on the skin – You will be protected for around two hours by one with 10 percent DEET. Use no more DEET than is necessary for the duration of your time spent outside. Use caution while applying it to young children’s hands or faces, especially those under two months old.
  • If you don’t have standard insect repellent, the oil of lemon eucalyptus may be useful against ticks since it has been demonstrated to offer the same protection against mosquitoes as low quantities of DEET. Children under the age of three also shouldn’t use it.
  • Be cautious – Ticks should be checked on you, your children, and any pets. Don’t think you can’t get Lyme disease again if you’ve already had it. Multiple cases of Lyme disease are possible.
  • Use tweezers to remove ticks – Apply the tweezers close to the tick’s mouth or head and gently pull. Verify that all tick components have been eliminated.

If or whenever a tick bites you or a member of your family, firstly consult your doctor and take medications accordingly.

Priyanshi Arora

Priyanshi Arora

Priyanshi Arora is a content editor for Healthy life human covering the topics related to health and lifestyle. She believes in having a positive attitude toward life reflects a healthy lifestyle. She has helped many people by providing valuable content related to their daily basic needs. To know more, connect with her on Linkdln.

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