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Key Information About Lyme Disease

Updated on April 3, 2019
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Srikanth is passionate about helping people improve their quality of life.

Overview

Also known as borreliosis, Lyme disease is a form of arthritis. This potentially life-threatening illness is transmitted to humans by deer tick.

Lyme disease is the most prevalent tick-borne infectious disease, with about 30,000 cases reported each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate, however, that the "the actual number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease is more likely about 300,000."

— medicalnewstoday.com

Causes

Lyme disease is caused by several strains of the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb). It is transmitted by the bite of an infected black-legged tick, commonly known as a deer tick.

These ticks can also transmit other diseases and infect pets and livestock. They are so small you may not notice them.

Their saliva contains an anesthetic-like substance that numbs your skin so you may not feel the bite.

Source

Symptoms

Untreated Lyme disease can produce a wide range of symptoms, depending on the stage of infection.

Early signs and symptoms include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. In up to 80% of Lyme infections, a rash is one of the first symptoms.

Lyme Disease Test

Lyme disease tests measure Borrelia antibodies in the blood, or in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) if there are signs and symptoms of central nervous system disease.

Treatment

Lyme disease can be cured. Patients treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages usually recover rapidly and completely.

Doctors usually prescribe oral antibiotics, which usually include doxycycline for adults and children older than 8, or amoxicillin or cefuroxime for adults, younger children, and pregnant or breast-feeding women.

Persistent or chronic Lyme disease is treated with intravenous antibiotics for a period of 14 to 21 days. Though this treatment eliminates the infection, your symptoms improve more slowly.

The use of antibiotics is critical for treating Lyme disease. Without antibiotic treatment, the Lyme bacteria can evade the host immune system and persist in the body for long periods of time.

Source

Have you taken steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from Lyme disease?

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Prevention

Prevention is the best way to avoid potentially serious complications of Lyme disease.

Ticks that cause Lyme disease live in moist and humid environments, particularly in and near wooded or grassy areas.

You may get a tick on you during outdoor activities around your home or while walking through leaves and bushes.

To avoid these harmful arachnids, walk in the center of trails. Never walk through tall bushes or other vegetation.

Keep your lawn well manicured. Build a tick barrier between your lawn and taller grasses. Install a deer fence around your garden.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Srikanth R

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