Here is everything you need to know to about Lyme disease: its definition, its alternative name, its causes, its symptoms, its examinations and tests, and its treatment.
Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease that is widespread in the Northern Hemisphere. It derived its name from the town, Lyme, located in Connecticut, where many got this disease in 1975. To have a general idea of this infectious disease, have a look at the following information.
Lyme disease is an infectious disease brought about by three bacteria species of the genus Borrelia.
Its alternative name
Another name for Lyme disease is Borreliosis.
This disease came about because of the bacterium known as Borrelia burgdorferi. There are particular ticks carrying this kind of bacteria. When these ticks bit deer or mice that were infected with this disease, the bacteria are then transmitted to them. The disease spreads to you should you be bitten by a tick infected with Lyme. This disease can be classified into three stages:
* Stage I – primary Lyme disease
* Stage II – secondary Lyme disease
* Stage III – tertiary Lyme disease
Higher risk comes from these factors:
* Having tick-infected pets in your household.
* Exposing yourself to certain activities, such as gardening, hiking, or hunting, that are most likely to expose you to carriers of this disease.
* Going for walks in tall grasses.
In some cases, there are individuals who will not get sick even though they have been infected with the bacteria. For those who do get ill, initial symptoms are similar to that of a flu and include the following:
* Muscle pain
A “bull’s eye” rash can appear at the tick bite site. It is a red spot and can be somewhat raised or sometimes flat. Most of the time, there is a clear portion in the middle of the spot that can grow bigger than 1 to 3 inches.
People who have a later stage Lyme disease are likely to manifest the following symptoms:
* Joint inflammation
* Stiff neck
* Itching all over the body
* Peculiar behavior
Its examinations and tests
A blood test is usually required to figure out the antibodies to the Lyme disease-causing bacteria. Normally, the ELISA test is performed. Moreover, a Western blood test is used to validate the results of an ELISA test. A physical examination for those with advance Lyme disease stage is also needed to check whether there has been any problems affecting the heart, joint and brain.
It is important to monitor for 30 days a person bitten by a tick. An antibiotic, in a single dose, is offered to a person bitten by a tick when these conditions are present:
* The tick is on the body of the person and has been identified by a physician or a nurse.
* The tick has been on the person for a minimum of 36 hours.
* The person can already start receiving antibiotics anytime in a 72-hour period from the time the tick was removed.
* The individual is above 8 years of age.
* The individual is not breastfeeding nor pregnant.
Those proven to have acquired the disease should take a full course antibiotics. The particular antibiotic that will be prescribed is based on the disease stage and the manifestations.