LYME DISEASE

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected black-legged tick, commonly known as a deer tick.

You’re more likely to get Lyme disease if you live or spend more time in grassy and heavily wooded areas where ticks carrying Lyme disease thrive. It’s important to take common-sense precautions in tick-infested areas.

                              SYMPTOMS OF LYME DISEASE

Early symptoms of Lyme disease start between 3 to 30 days after an infected tick bites you.

  • Rash.
  • Fever.
  • Chills.
  • Headache.
  • Fatigue.
  • Muscle and joint aches.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.

      LESS COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Weeks after infection, some people develop:

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

If untreated, new signs and symptoms of Lyme infection might appear in the following weeks to months. These include:

Although Lyme disease is commonly divided into three stages — early localized, early disseminated, and late disseminated — symptoms can overlap. Some people will also present in a later stage of disease without having symptoms of earlier disease.

                                 TREATMENT OF LYME DISEASE.

With early-stage Lyme disease, you’ll take antibiotics for about 10 days to 3 weeks. The most common ones are amoxicillin, cefuroxime, and doxycycline. The antibiotics will almost cure your infection. If they don’t, you might get other antibiotics either by mouth.
If you don’t treat your Lyme infection, you might need oral antibiotics for symptoms like weakened face muscles and irregular heartbeat. You may need antibiotics if you have meningitis, inflammation in your brain and spinal cord, or more severe heart problems. If your Lyme is at late stage, the doctor might give you antibiotics either by mouth or as a shot. If it causes arthritis, you’ll get arthritis treatment.

What’s the Best Way to Prevent a Tick Bite?

Ticks can’t fly or jump. But they live in shrubs and grasses and can grab onto you when you pass by. To avoid getting bitten:

  • Wear pants and socks in areas with lots of trees and when you touch fallen leaves.
  • Wear a tick repellent on your skin and clothing that has DEET, lemon oil, or eucalyptus.
  • For even more protection, use the chemical permethrin on clothing and camping gear.
  • Shower within 2 hours after coming inside. Look for ticks on your skin, and wash ticks out of your hair.
  • Put your clothing and any exposed gear into a hot dryer to kill whatever pests might be on them.

           When to See a Doctor If you see any Symptom of Lyme

If you develop flu-like symptoms days or weeks after being bitten by a tick or notice that the skin surrounding a tick bite is becoming more swollen with enlarging areas of redness, it is time to visit a doctor for evaluation and possible treatment for Lyme disease.

If you don’t have the rash but have symptoms like fatigue, fever, and headache but no respiratory symptoms like a cough, you may want to talk to your doctor.

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