Lyme disease is a type of infectious condition that is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacteria B. burgdorferi is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected black-legged or deer tick. The tick is infected by feeding on infected birds, deer, or mice.
Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-borne conditions in the United States and Europe. It is mostly seen amongst people who spend more time in wooded areas. Small children can also easily fall victim to tick bites when out camping, so be sure to take them to a pediatric care facility if they begin having strange symptoms after the trip. Domesticated animals who visit wooded areas often can also be carriers of an infected tick and cause Lyme disease to their owners.
Most patients with Lyme disease do not remember any kind of tick bite. However, studies say that the tick needs to be there on the skin of the person for a minimum of 36 hours to transmit the infection. Check with your local affordable health clinic to find out more about tick bites and Lyme disease.
Symptoms and Treatment of Lyme Disease
It is seen that different people react to Lyme disease in a different way, and the symptoms can vary greatly as well. Generally, Lyme disease is categorized into three stages – early localized, early disseminated, and late disseminated. The symptoms in each of these stages can overlap. In some cases, the patient may not show any obvious signs of the disease until a later stage.
The most common symptom of Lyme disease is the development of a flat and circular rash, which appears like a bull’s-eye or red oval shape. It could be anywhere on the body. In addition to that, people with Lyme disease also experience fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain and inflammation, headaches, fever, disruptions in sleep, swollen lymph nodes, and difficulty in concentrating.
It is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider as soon as any of the above-mentioned symptoms are noticed. The sooner the condition is diagnosed, the better the treatment plan will work. In most cases, patients with Lyme disease can find better relief when it is treated in its early stages. The treatment of early localized Lyme disease involves using oral antibiotics for around 10 to 14 days to get rid of the infection completely.
The common medications used to treat the condition include amoxicillin, doxycycline, and cefuroxime. These are usually recommended as the first treatment options for adults and children. Cefuroxime and amoxicillin are also prescribed for breastfeeding women. In severe cases, intravenous antibiotics may be used to manage the symptoms of Lyme disease. This is especially the case when Lyme disease has affected the cardiac or central nervous system of the patient.