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Could Lyme Disease Kill You

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Chronic Lyme Disease Patients Profoundly Debilitated

Treatments for Lyme disease

Many patients with chronic Lyme disease are profoundly debilitated. Investigators of the four NIH-sponsored retreatment trials documented that the patients quality of life was consistently worse than that of control populations and equivalent to that of patients with congestive heart failure. Pain levels were similar to those of post-surgical patients, and fatigue was on par with that seen in multiple sclerosis.

An LDo published survey of over 3,000 patients with chronic Lyme disease found that patients suffer a worse quality of life than most other chronic illnesses, including congestive heart failure, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Over 70% of patients with chronic Lyme disease reported fair or poor health. Similar results have been found in other studies. Many of the symptoms associated with Lyme disease are common in other diseases. The CDC surveillance criteria for confirmed cases specifically exclude most of the symptoms that patients report, including fatigue, sleep impairment, joint pain, muscle aches, other pain, depression, cognitive impairment, neuropathy, and headaches. However, these common symptoms can be severe and may seriously affect quality of life.

Will Lyme Disease Kill You

There are four primary types of bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii cause Lyme disease in the United States, while Borrelia afzelli and Borrelia garinni cause it in Europe and Asia. The most frequent tick-borne ailment in these places is Lyme disease, which is transmitted by the bite of an infected black-legged tick, sometimes known as a deer tick.

Symptoms

Lyme disease manifests itself in a variety of ways. They normally appear in stages, however, some of the stages may overlap.

Symptoms and early warning indicators

A little red lump that looks like a mosquito bite often forms at the site of a tick bite or tick removal and disappears after a few days. This is a common occurrence that does not mean you have Lyme disease.

These signs and symptoms, however, might appear as soon as a month after you’ve been infected:

  • An increasing red patch that sometimes clears in the middle, forming a bulls-eye pattern, may emerge three to 30 days following an infected tick bite. The rash spreads slowly over several days and can reach a diameter of 12 inches .
  • The rash Erythema migrans is one of the hallmarks of Lyme disease, albeit it does not appear in everyone who has the infection. This rash might appear on more than one part of the body in some persons.

Other signs and symptoms

The rash may be accompanied by fever, chills, weariness, body aches, headache, neck stiffness, and swollen lymph nodes.

Signs and symptoms that appear later

Killing Deer Not The Answer To Reducing Lyme Disease Says Hsph Scientist

Prevalence of the disease, the most common tick-borne illness in North America, has increased dramatically in the region over the past few years. Massachusetts now has the countrys fourth highest infection rate, according to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Lyme disease produces flu-like symptoms in those bitten by infected ticks and, if not treated promptly, can cause more serious complications including arthritis, neurological symptoms, and even cognitive defects and heart rhythm irregularity.

Tamara Awerbuch, instructor in the Department of Global Health and Population at HSPH and a specialist in emerging epidemics, has done research on the life cycle of the deer tick. Based on her field studies in the 1990s, she argues that hunting deer wont effectively combat Lyme disease because ticks also depend on another key host animal: white-footed mice. Ticks do not actually get Lyme disease from deer, as is commonly believedrather, ticks contract it as larvae when they feed on infected mice. Adult female ticks need the deer to lay their eggs and for food, but the deer do not become infected.

Awerbuch spoke about her research and the decisions by some communities to allow deer hunting.

Q. Can you explain, based on your studies, why you think the deer hunts arent the right strategy?

Q. And what did you find?

Rachel Johnson

Read Also: Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease Mayo Clinic

Phase Three Later Months To Years

Also called late disseminated infection

Many infectious disease specialists believe that chronic Lyme disease does not exist, and that Lyme disease from a tick bite can be cured with a short course of antibiotics. It is possible that those who have undergone antibiotic treatments are suffering from the side effects of antibiotics, but more and more experts are coming around to the idea that Lyme disease can survive and cause long-term autoimmune symptoms when antibiotics dont work. We all know that antibiotics do not always work and can cause more problems.

  • Arthritis symptoms swollen, painful joints
  • Neurological symptoms numbness, tingling, shooting pains
  • Cognitive symptoms brain fog, short-term memory deficits, confusion
  • Mood disturbance depression
  • Abnormal heart rhythms and heart failure

Facial paralysis sometimes occurs in this stage or stage two.

What Is The Outlook For Someone With Lyme Disease

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Most of the people who get Lyme disease and treated early will be fine.

Post-Lyme Syndrome

Even after proper treatment, some patients may experience lingering fatigue, achiness or headaches. This does not signify ongoing infection and will not respond to additional antibiotics. The majority of people in this group will have symptoms resolve over the next 1-6 months.

Chronic Lyme Syndrome

Chronic Lyme syndrome is a term used by some that includes the symptoms of Post-Lyme syndrome outlined above. This is a controversial topic with no accepted etiology and no proven cause or association.

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Lyme Disease Frequently Asked Questions

If you have not done so already, remove the tick with fine-tipped tweezers.

The chances that you might get Lyme disease from a single tick bite depend on the type of tick, where you acquired it, and how long it was attached to you. Many types of ticks bite people in the U.S., but only blacklegged ticks transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Furthermore, only blacklegged ticks in the highly endemic areas of the northeastern and north central U.S. are commonly infected. Finally, blacklegged ticks need to be attached for at least 24 hours before they can transmit Lyme disease. This is why its so important to remove them promptly and to check your body daily for ticks if you live in an endemic area.

If you develop illness within a few weeks of a tick bite, see your health care provider right away. Common symptoms of Lyme disease include a rash, fever, body aches, facial paralysis, and arthritis. Ticks can also transmit other diseases, so its important to be alert for any illness that follows a tick bite.

References:

Moody KD, Barthold SW, 1991. Relative infectivity of Borrelia burgdorferi in Lewis rats by various routes of inoculation.external iconAm J Trop Med Hyg 44: 135-9.

There are no reports of Lyme disease being spread to infants through breast milk. If you are diagnosed with Lyme disease and are also breastfeeding, make sure that your doctor knows this so that he or she can prescribe an antibiotic thats safe for use when breastfeeding.

What Should I Do If I Find A Tick On My Child

Don’t panic. First Lyme disease is spread by the black-legged tick, not by the larger and more-common dog tick. The risk of developing Lyme disease after a black-legged tick bite is low, especially if the tick has been attached for a short time.

If you find a tick on your child, remove it using a fine-tipped pair of tweezers. Grasp the body of the tick and pull in an upward motion until the tick comes out. Do not squeeze or twist the ticks body. Take note of the ticks size and color, and how long you think it has been attached to your child.

If your child has been bitten by a black-legged tick that has been attached for more than 24 hours and you are in a Lyme disease endemic area, consult with your pediatrician. In some cases, your child may be prescribed antibiotics to prevent Lyme disease from developing.

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How To Remove A Tick

A tick must remain attached to the skin for at least 36 hours to spread Lyme disease. The best way of preventing Lyme disease is to remove a tick as soon as possible.

The blacklegged tick that spreads disease-causing bacteria resembles a tiny spider. Young ticks are around the size of a poppy seed, while adult ticks are around the size of a sesame seed. Ticks of all ages are reddish-brown.

Below are some steps for tick removal.

  • Step 1: Use fine-tipped tweezers to gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth. Avoid squeezing the tick.
  • Step 2: Using the tweezers, pull the tick carefully and steadily away from the skin. Avoid yanking or twisting the tick, as this could cause its mouthparts to remain in the skin.
  • Step 3: After removing the tick, dispose of it by putting it in some alcohol or flushing it down the toilet.
  • Step 4: Apply antiseptic to the tick bite.

Does Lyme Disease Go Away On Its Own

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Its certainly possible for people to get Lyme disease and to clear the infection on their own, without treatment, says Dr. Kuritzkes. But its better to be treated, because some of the complicationslike arthritis and myocarditis and damage to the central nervous systemcan be very serious.

The type of bacteria that causes Lyme disease is in the same general family as the type that causes syphilis, Dr. Kuritzkes explains. That doesnt mean anything similar in terms of transmission, but syphilis has several different phases, with primary and secondary and tertiary symptoms, he says. The infection can hide out in the body for a long time and can cause problems down the road if its not treated.

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Chronic Lyme Disease Symptom Severity

In LDos chronic Lyme disease survey, over 75% of patients reported at least one symptom as severe or very severe and 63% reported two or more such symptoms. Find out more about LDo peer-reviewed published surveys. The chart below shows the severity of ten common chronic Lyme symptoms.

The survey also found that patients with chronic Lyme disease have high disability and unemployment rates. Over 40% of patients with chronic Lyme disease reported that they currently are unable to work because of Lyme disease and 24% report that they have received disability at some point in their illness.

Is Lyme Disease Curable

The tick-borne illness can be treated with antibiotics, and most people make a full recovery within weeks or months. So why is there so much confusion?

In much of the country, spring and summer mean warmer weather and spending more time outdoors. Unfortunately, it also means that the ticks that carry Lyme disease bacteria may be out in full force, especially in wooded or grassy areas.

About 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported each year to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although experts estimate that 10 times that amount may actually be infected. Thats concerning, because if left untreated, Lyme disease can cause nerve damage, memory loss, dangerous inflammation around the heart, and other permanent health problems.

But the good news is that Lyme disease is also very treatableespecially when its diagnosed soon after symptoms begin. Lyme disease is always curable, Daniel Kuritzkes, MD, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston, tells Health. The medications we have are very effective at getting rid of the infection. Heres what else you need to know.

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Stage : Late Disseminated Lyme Disease

Stage 3 or late disseminated Lyme disease is the final stage of the disease. A person may enter this stage if they did not receive treatment for Lyme disease in the early stages, or if their symptoms persisted despite treatment. As such, doctors sometimes refer to this stage as chronic or post-treatment Lyme disease .

Stage 3 Lyme disease can occur after an infected tick bites a person.

A person with stage 3 Lyme disease may experience additional symptoms, including:

  • severe joint pain and swelling, known as chronic Lyme arthritis
  • heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat, due to Lyme carditis
  • inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
  • mental fogginess

What Do I Do If I Find A Tick On My Skin

4 Lyme Disease Home Remedies

Dont panic. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skins surface as possible. Pull up with steady, even pressure. Be careful not to squeeze or twist the tick body. Sometimes parts of the tick remain in the skin. You can leave them alone or carefully remove them the same way you would a splinter. Do not use heat , petroleum jelly, or other methods to try to make the tick back out on its own. These methods are not effective.

Wash the area where the tick was attached thoroughly with soap and water. Keep an eye on the area for a few weeks and note any changes. Call your doctor if you develop a rash around the area where the tick was attached. Be sure to tell your doctor that you were bitten by a tick and when it happened.

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Who Is At Risk

Many occupations may be at risk, including forestry, farming, veterinarians, construction, landscaping, ground keepers, park or wildlife management, and anyone who either works outside or has contact with animals that may carry ticks

Similarly, any person who spends a lot time outdoors , especially in grassy or wooded areas may also be at risk.

What If A Tick Bites My Dog

The more ticks in your region, the likelier it is that your furry pal will bring them home.

Your dog is much more likely to be bitten by a tick than you are. And where Lyme disease is common, up to 25% of dogs have had it at some point.

About 10% of dogs with Lyme disease will get sick. 7-21 days after a tick bite, your dog might seem like theyâre walking on eggshells. They also might have a fever and enlarged lymph nodes. Plus, they might seem tired. Dogs also get antibiotics for Lyme.

What if my dog brings ticks into my home?

Use a tick control product on your pet to prevent Lyme disease. Also, have your dog vaccinated against Lyme.

Check your dogâs whole body each day for bumps. If you notice a swollen area, see if thereâs a tick there. If you find a tick, wear gloves while you use tweezers to separate it from your dog. Then, put it in soapy water or alcohol, or flush it down the toilet.

Use alcohol to clean the spot on your dog where the tick was attached. Keep an eye on that spot, and also on your dog to make sure theyâre behaving normally. If you notice any changes, check with your vet.

Show Sources

John Aucott, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine director, Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center.

CDC.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: âVital Signs: Trends in Reported Vectorborne Disease Cases — United States and Territories, 2004-2016.â

American College of Rheumatology.

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Best Supplements To Kill Lyme And Everything Else You Ever Wanted To Know About Lyme Disease

May 2, 2018 by Michael EdwardsLast updated on: March 14, 2019

Lyme disease is grossly under-reported in the United States. Lyme cases have more than doubled since the 1990s. The number of counties that are now deemed high-risk for Lyme has increased by more than 320 percent. About 329,000 cases of Lyme disease occur every year according to the latest researcher from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lyme disease is the fastest growing infectious diseases in the US and in Western Europe. Public funding for this disease is still far below that of less common illnesses, receiving less than 2% of public funding for West Nile and 0.2% of funding for HIV/AIDS even though Lyme effects for more people, but fortunately, awareness is rapidly evolving.

What Are The Complications Of Lyme Disease

Researchers make breakthrough that could lead to Lyme disease cure

Lyme disease affects people differently. Relapse and incomplete treatment responses happen. Relapse and incomplete treatment responses happen. Complications of untreated early-stage disease include:

  • Joint disease

  • Frequent hospitalizations to manage the disease

Some of these complications result in chronic, debilitating conditions.

Some people may develop post-Lyme disease syndrome . A condition also known as chronic Lyme disease includes PLDS, but also other syndromes. Usually, these are characterized by persistent musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve pain, fatigue, and memory impairment.

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Complications From Lyme Disease That Can Be Fatal

Lyme carditis

Lyme carditis is a rare but dangerous condition in which the bacteria that causes Lyme or TBRF enters the heart and causes inflammation. This can lead to irregular heartbeats or heart arrhythmia, as well as heart block that can be deadly. Just having Lyme disease or TBRF does not mean you will develop Lyme carditis, but there are several documented deaths linked to the condition.

Immune disorders

There is debate over the nature of chronic Lyme and Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome . One thing that is clear, however, is that those whose Lyme is untreated or treated too late can develop chronic health problems that can include new and debilitating illnesses.

One example is immune disorders, such as Mast Cell Activation Syndrome . MCAS is one of several immune disorders related to the bodys ability to react to allergens. In MCAS, the bodys allergic responses become overactive, making even everyday foods or environmental triggers dangerous.

The condition can worsen over time and has been linked to at least one death.

Again, MCAS is just one example of several immune disorders that may arise with untreated or chronic Lyme. More research is underway to clarify the link between Lyme disease and chronic health problems.

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