Lyme – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Definition

Lyme disease is an illness which is caused by a spirochete bacterium name is Borrelia burgdorferi. This illness is mainly transmitted to animals and man through the bite of infected ticks. In this case, a tick bearing the Borrelia burgdorferi organism literally inserts it into a host’s bloodstream when it bites the host to feed on its blood.

This disease was named for Lyme, Connecticut, the town where it was first diagnosed in 1975 after a puzzling outbreak of arthritis.Males and females of all ages can affect Lyme disease. People who spend time outdoors in tick-infested environments are at an increased risk of this illness. Lyme disease is found in other parts of the United States, as well as in Europe, Asia and Australia.

Causes

The risk for acquiring Lyme disease varies from person to person, depending on what stage in its life cycle a tick has reached. A tick passes through three stages of development-larva, nymph, and adult-each of which is dependent on a live host for food.

Like vampires, ticks thrive on blood, latching onto a host and feeding for four or five days until they are swollen to many times their normal size. During feeding, ticks that carry disease-producing bacteria can transmit the bacteria to a healthy host. Or they may pick up bacteria themselves if the host is infected.

Symptoms

The first sign of infection is usually a circular rash called erythema migrans. This rash occurs in approximately 70-80% of infected persons and begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3-30 days.

The rash may appear within a day of the bite or as late as a month later. This rash firstly starts as a small. It may be slightly raised or flat. It then expands outward, often leaving a clearing in the center. It can enlarge to the size of a thumb-print or cover persons back.

The redness resolves, without treatment, in about a month. Weeks to months after the initial redness of the skin the bacterium and its effects spread throughout the body. Subsequently, disease in the joints, heart and nervous system can occur.

Treatment

Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. Usually, these antibiotics are given by mouth, though they may need to be given intravenously in some severe cases of Lyme disease, especially if the nervous system is involved. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, landscaping, and integrated pest management.

If Lyme disease is not diagnosed and treated until later problems arise, it may take you a long time to get better or you may require additional treatment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *