Who Is At Risk For Lyme Disease
Anyone can get a tick bite. But people who spend lots of time outdoors in wooded, grassy areas are at a higher risk. This includes campers, hikers, and people who work in gardens and parks.
Most tick bites happen in the summer months when ticks are most active and people spend more time outdoors. But you can get bitten in the warmer months of early fall, or even late winter if temperatures are unusually high. And if there is a mild winter, ticks may come out earlier than usual.
What Can A Workplace Or Home Do To Reduce The Presence Of Ticks
Keep the lawn and yard well maintained to prevent ticks from living near the home or workplace.
- Keep the grass mowed. Trim trees and shrubs.
- Remove leaf litter, brush, and weeds at the edge of the lawn, and around stonewalls and woodpiles.
- Clean up and seal stonewalls and small openings around the home to help discourage rodents.
- Keep stacked firewood piles and bird feeders away from buildings.
- Keep any pets, particularly dogs, out of the woods and talk to your veterinarian about tick repellents for your pets.
- Move children’s swing sets and sandboxes away from the woodland’s edge and use a woodchip or mulch foundation.
- Consider using hard landscape items such as woodchips, mulch, stones, gravel, tile, or metals.
- Create a border or barrier between the lawn, woods, or stonewalls to discourage deer and rodent activity.
- Widen woodland trails.
Diagnosis Testing And Treatment
You may have heard that the blood test for Lyme disease is correctly positive only 65% of the time or less. This is misleading information. As with serologic tests for other infectious diseases, the accuracy of the test depends upon how long youve been infected. During the first few weeks of infection, such as when a patient has an erythema migrans rash, the test is expected to be negative.
Several weeks after infection, FDA cleared tests have very good sensitivity.
It is possible for someone who was infected with Lyme disease to test negative because:
If you are pregnant and suspect you have contracted Lyme disease, contact your physician immediately.
* Silver HM. Lyme disease during pregnancy. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 1997 Mar 11:93-7.
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What Is Late Lyme Disease
Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is caused by an infection with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is disseminated through tick bites. Infected ticks usually bite small mammals, who do not develop any kind of infection from the bacteria. When humans are exposed to B. Burgdorferi from a tick bite, however, they can develop Lyme disease.
People who work outside or spend time in woodland areas, where there is greater potential for exposure to tick bites, are most at risk of infection.
Lyme disease is a condition which progresses in stages:
Lyme Disease Can Be Diagnosed By Bulls Eye Rash Alone
Lyme disease can be diagnosed by the rash alone, new advice for the NHS says.
People with the bulls eye circular rash do not need a blood test and should be treated immediately to avoid complications, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says.
Waiting for lab results is unnecessary and can cause delays in patients being prescribed the antibiotics they need.
Lyme disease is spread by tick bites and can be debilitating.
A blood tests can check for it but may not give a positive result until eight weeks after the patient is bitten.
Prof Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence , said for most people with Lyme disease, a course of antibiotics would be an effective treatment, so it is important we diagnose and treat people as soon as possible.
A person with Lyme disease may present with a wide range of symptoms, so we have clear advice for professionals about the use of lab tests for diagnosis and the most appropriate antibiotic treatments, she said.
If a characteristic bulls eye rash is present, healthcare professionals should feel confident in diagnosing Lyme disease.
Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose. It has similar symptoms to other conditions and there is not always an obvious rash. The rash can also appear in a number of different ways, as these images from the NICE guidance show.
Symptoms can also include:
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How Long Does Lyme Disease Treatment Last
Your Lyme disease symptoms can last from 3 to 30 days after being infected. However, if youre treated early with antibiotics, you usually feel better within a few weeks. Lingering symptoms, such as joint or muscle pain, and fatigue, can be experienced for months after treatment for some patients. Some patients experience these symptoms for more than six months after they finish their antibiotics, which is known as chronic Lyme disease.
Chronic Lyme Dos And Donts
Chronic Lyme disease is an ongoing Borrelia burgdorferi infection that can involve any body system or tissue. The infection produces a wide range of symptoms and signs, which can be debilitating for some patients. Common symptoms include severe fatigue, migratory musculoskeletal pain, headaches, and impaired memory. Unfortunately, chronic Lyme disease is complex and often misunderstood, which means that many patients will struggle to obtain the care they need to regain their health. Every patient concerned about Lyme disease and tick-borne illness should know the following.
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How Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
In areas where ticks are found, people should know about the risk of Lyme disease and should take precautions to protect themselves. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease so it can be detected and treated promptly. PHAC states that removing ticks within 24 to 36 hours after the tick bite usually prevents infection.
PHAC has also prepared a Lyme disease tool kit which provides material to raise awareness and educate.
When Should I Call My Doctor
- Canât get the tick totally out
- Have any flu-like symptoms, with or without a rash
- See red streaks, or yellow fluid oozing from the bite, meaning the bite is infected
Some people have more serious reactions to the bite itself. Go to the emergency room if you have:
- Anaphylaxis. This is a life-threatening reaction that needs medical care right away.
- Tick paralysis. If you have this, you will be unable to move. Paralysis usually goes away within 24 hours of removing the tick.
- You canât move your arms, legs, or part of your face.
- Itâs hard to breathe.
- Your heart feels like itâs fluttering, skipping beats, or beating too hard or too fast.
- You have a severe headache.
- You feel weakness in your arms or legs.
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What Happens At Your Appointment
The GP will ask about your symptoms and consider any rash or recent tick bites you know about.
Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose. It has similar symptoms to other conditions and there’s not always an obvious rash.
2 types of blood test are available to help confirm or rule out Lyme disease. But these tests are not always accurate in the early stages of the disease.
You may need to be retested if you still have Lyme disease symptoms after a negative result.
How We Care For Lyme Disease
The Division of Infectious Diseases at Boston Childrens provides comprehensive care for children and adolescents with Lyme disease and other infections. Our services include consultation, evaluation, treatment, and management of long-term complications of Lyme disease.
The commitment and compassion with which we care for all children and families is matched only by the pioneering spirit of discovery and innovation that drives us to think differently, to find answers, and to build a better tomorrow for children everywhere.
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Stage : Changing Skin
In stage 3, few signs of Lyme disease appear on the skin. Most problems occur in the heart and nervous system, and these can be serious.
Where you see signs on your skin: If you were in Europe when bit by a tick, you may see changes to your skin in this late stage. These changes usually appear on a hand or foot. Some people develop this change on both of their hands or feet. It can also occur on a knee, elbow, or elsewhere.
What the skin looks like: The skin begins to swell, and you may notice some redness. These signs are caused by having a bacterial infection for a long time. The affected skin may also feel sore.
In time, the skin starts to harden and shrink, causing deep lines to form. If you have hair in the area, it tends to fall out. The sweat glands can die, and the skin often becomes so thin that it tears easily. The medical name for this condition is acrodermatitischronical atrophicans.
In stage 3, you may also see tumors on your skin. It is believed that the long-term infection and swelling in the lymph nodes can lead to a cancer known as cutaneous B-cell lymphoma.
Skin starts to harden and shrink, causing deep lines to form
The medical name for this condition is acrodermatitis chronical atrophicans. Swelling, hardened skin, and deep lines on the foot of someone who has had Lyme disease for years.
When you see signs of changing skin and symptoms: These tend to occur months or years after you are bitten by a tick.
Deer Tick Lyme Disease Rash
Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and rarely, Borrelia mayonii.It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Tick bites are usually painless and most people do not know they have been bitten. Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease vary greatly from person to person, and may appear anywhere between 3 to 30 days after a person has been bitten.
Symptoms often include:
- Swollen lymph nodes.
One sign of infection can be an expanding rash, sometimes referred to as a “bull’s eye” rash because it may have rings spreading from the bite site ). It is important to note that rashes without the bull’s eye may occur, and that rashes do not appear in every case of Lyme disease infection.
The PHAC states that if left untreated, more severe symptoms may occur and can last from months to years. Severe symptoms may include:
- Severe headaches
- Additional EM skin rashes..
- Neurological disorders
- Nervous system disorders, including facial paralysis or Bell’s palsy .
- Intermittent muscle, joint, tendon, and bone aches
- Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and less commonly in other joints such as the ankle, elbow, and wrists.
If untreated, a condition called late disseminated Lyme disease may occur. PHAC reports symptoms include recurring arthritis , nervous system and/or neurological problems. Symptoms can also include numbness and/or paralysis . Deaths from Lyme disease are rare but may occur.
PHAC provides more information on Lyme Disease.
Reducing Your Risk For Lyme Disease
Knouse says there are ways to minimize your risk for getting Lyme disease. If you are going to be in a wooded area or an area with high grass, cover up as much skin as possible and use an insect repellant with DEET. You also should thoroughly check your clothing, yourself and your children for ticks after coming indoors, says Knouse.
He also says showering within two hours after doing a lot of yardwork has been shown to be effective for reducing the risk for Lyme disease after being exposed to deer ticks.
If you do find a tick on yourself or children, remove it as soon as possible with tweezers. Once you carefully remove the tick, dispose of it by putting it in rubbing alcohol or flushing it down the toilet. Apply antiseptic to the bite area and watch for any symptoms of Lyme disease.
If you find what appears to be a deer tick that is engorged and was attached to you for 48 hours or longer, there may be an option for a single dose of doxycycline, which can help prevent Lyme disease in these situations you would need to call your provider to discuss this option.
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What Are The First Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
In the first early localized stage of Lyme disease the skin at the site of the tick bite becomes infected with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria which can cause an expanding round or oval red skin lesion called erythema migrans. This may or may not be associated with flu-like symptoms within days to a month after the tick bite such as achiness, chills, fever, sweats, fatigue, malaise, headache, stiff neck, muscle soreness, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and sore throat. The combination of the skin lesion and flu-like symptoms are the primary manifestations of acute stage Lyme disease. Acute Lyme disease is not associated with typical cold-like symptoms of runny nose, prominent cough, or prominent diarrhea.
Even Be Careful When This Typical Lyme Disease Rash Doesnt Appear
When a bullseye rash doesnt occur, this doesnt indicate that someone doesnt have Lyme disease. The disease might also be present when the characteristic Lyme disease rash is not. According to the literature, this is even the case for 30 to 70% of the infections. It is, therefore, important to watch for flulike symptoms after a tick bite, for this might be an indication for Lyme disease.
Examples of a bullseye rash after a tick bite
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Cdc Supports The Development Of New Tests
New tests may be developed as alternatives to one or both steps of the two-step process. Before CDC will recommend new tests, they must be cleared by the Food and Drug Administration . For more details, see: Recommendations for Test Performance and Interpretation from the Second National Conference on Serologic Diagnosis of Lyme Disease.
What Are The Treatments For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. The earlier you are treated, the better it gives you the best chance of fully recovering quickly.
After treatment, some patients may still have pain, fatigue, or difficulty thinking that lasts more than 6 months. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome . Researchers dont know why some people have PTLDS. There is no proven treatment for PTLDS long-term antibiotics have not been shown to help. However, there are ways to help with the symptoms of PTLDS. If you have been treated for Lyme disease and still feel unwell, contact your health care provider about how to manage your symptoms. Most people do get better with time. But it can take several months before you feel all better.
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Treatment Of Lyme Disease
Early diagnosis and proper antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease is important and can help prevent late Lyme disease. The following treatment regimens reflect CDCs interpretation of the most current data for four important manifestations of Lyme disease. These regimens are consistent with guidanceexternal icon published by the by the Infectious Disease Society of America, American Academy of Neurology, and American College of Rheumatology.
Some patients report persistent symptoms of pain, fatigue, or difficulty thinking even after treatment for Lyme disease. The state of the science relating to persistent symptoms associated with Lyme disease is limited, emerging, and unsettled.
Additional researchexternal icon is needed to better understand how to treat, manage, and support people with persistent symptoms associated with Lyme disease. In light of these research gaps, recommendations for treatment of persistent symptoms in people previously treated for Lyme disease are not provided here.
If you are interested in information on chronic Lyme diseaseexternal icon, see NIHs website.
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