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What is Lyme disease? How to treat it? What causes it?

What is Lyme disease?

Infectious diseases

What is Lyme disease? How to treat it? What causes it?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection. It is caused by bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. When an infected tick bites human, it results in this infection.

How are Lyme diseases transmitted?

When a tick attaches to human skin, it creates a tiny hole in it. It puts the mouth part into the hole. Usually, it attaches the parts of the body, which are hard to see. Mainly, they get a scalp, armpit, and groin.

It takes 24 to 48 hours, to transmit the disease. The bacterium may enter the human body through the bite of an infected black-legged tick and western black-legged tick.

Symptoms of Lyme diseases:

Lyme disease symptoms

Initial signs and symptoms are mild. They may become severe with the time. At initial stages, many people do not notice the diseases, unless they are aware of the severe symptoms of the infection. Early treatment is more effective.

The symptoms may divide into following three
phases:

Early Lyme disease stage 1:

Erythema migrans appears in the early stage of the infection. It is referred to a small rash that starts with the red area. The area may increase in length with the time.

The most common areas where rashes develop are an armpit, neck, groin, buttocks, and thighs. The bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi circulate in the bloodstream so, the patches of rash can appear on other body parts.

Other symptoms include fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, chills and joint pains. In some cases, the symptoms are so serious that one has to see a doctor.

Phases of Lyme disease

Early disseminated Lyme disease stage 2:

This stage may take weeks and even months to appear after initial infection. It comes when the infection is left untreated. It causes a range of symptoms:

  • Belly palsy
  • Spinal cord inflammation
  • Joints become swollen and painful
  • Palpitation
  • Sometimes, patients find it hard to sleep.
  • In a rare case, abnormal heart beat may also occur.

The complication may get more serious if the infection is still untreated.

Late disseminated Lyme disease stage 3:

This stage of the disease may take an even year to appear. It only comes when the infection is left untreated or the antibiotics used did not kill infection-causing bacteria.

Symptoms include:

  • Arthritis
  • Difficulty in concentrating on something
  • Memory loss
  • Unrestful sleep
  • Tingling and numbness in arms and feet

Treatment of Lyme disease:

As it is caused by bacteria, so it can be treated with antibiotics. The most commonly used antibiotics for this purpose are doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime axetil.

For more treatment details, click here.

Prevention of Lyme disease:

Preventing this infection is easy. For this, you need to remember the following steps.

  • Avoid visiting places where tick may be found, for example, tall grass, wood, and bushes.
  • You should wear long pants, shoes, and coats while moving through such areas.
  • Wear a light color dress to make spotting ticks easier.
  • You can also use tick repellent spray on your clothes and body.
  • Check your body against tick after you return home.
  • If you remove, tick before 24 hours, the chances of the infection decreases.

Lyme disease Frequently asked questions:

Here is the answer to the FAQs.

  1. Can Lyme disease spread human to human?

    No, it cannot spread from human to human. It is the most common tick-borne disease.

  2. Can female’s breastfeed while having this disease?

    Yes, they can. The infection does not spread in breastfeeding.

  3. Can it be transmitted through blood transfusion?

    No, it cannot be.

  4. What if some are pregnant and have this infection?

    No problem. As none of the research have shown that it affects fetus negatively.

  5. Can dogs and cat get this disease?
  6. Yes, they can get it but they cannot transfer it to humans.
  7. Can someone get Lyme disease from the environment?

    No.


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Being a medical student, I love to share with people what they don’t know for their better health.

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