When Should I Go See My Doctor
Anyone who has been bitten by a black-legged deer tick is at risk for Lyme disease. The highest risk groups include those living in or visiting endemic areas, especially people who spend significant time outdoors such as gardeners, hikers, or outdoor workers.
Patients should seek advice from their doctor if they have a suspicious round expanding red skin lesion, and/or show signs of summer-flu, particularly during Lyme disease season, which is highest-risk late spring through July/August. If those circumstances apply or symptoms persist it is very important to go to a physician.
For the west coast and other more temperate regions Lyme disease can be a year-round concern.
In the later disseminated stages, Lyme disease can be a much more insidious and complex illness. An individual should seek medical care if experiencing symptoms such as prolonged fevers, unexplained fatigue, painful joints, new or unusual headache, or heart or neurologic symptoms. If unexplained viral-like symptoms last for more than 1-2 weeks, please seek the advice of a physician.
How You Get Lyme Disease
Lyme disease can be transmitted by the bite of a tick infected with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria.
Ticks survive in many habitats but prefer moist areas with leaf litter or longer grass, like in woodland, grassland, moorland, heathland and some urban parks and gardens.
Ticks dont jump or fly but climb on to your clothes or skin if you brush past vegetation.
They then bite into the skin and start to feed on your blood. Being bitten doesnt mean youll definitely be infected as not all ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
If bitten by an infected tick, you are more likely to become infected the longer the tick remains attached and feeding.
Ticks are very small and their bites are not painful, so you may not realise you have one attached to your skin. It is important to check yourself for ticks after outdoor activities and remove any ticks promptly and safely.
For Animals That Have Not Been Vaccinated Can Osp A Values Be Positive How Should This Be Interpreted
Antibodies to OspA have previously been interpreted as markers for vaccination. Non-vaccinated animals usually have low values for antibodies to OspA, while vaccinated animals develop these antibodies. OspA antibodies have been shown to protect from infection with B. burgdorferi.
However, there is accumulating evidence that antibodies to OspA can occur without vaccination. First, residual OspA is present on the bacterial surface at the time of transmission to an animal. This causes a low and transient OspA antibody response early after infection. Second, antibodies to OspA have also been associated with treatment-resistant Lyme arthritis and with development of autoimmunity in human patients. Similarly, OspA antibodies in non-vaccinated dogs or horses can be considered as markers of chronicity and disease severity.
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The Experience Of Lyme Disease
In our book, Conquering Lyme Disease: Science Bridges the Great Divide, we review several of the key features of Lyme disease that can make the experience of this illness so challenging, including:
- The politically charged climate
- The protean nature of manifestations of the illness
- The waxing and waning course of symptoms
- The psychological ramifications of having an invisible chronic illness and the experience of invalidation
- The challenge of having a disease that affects the brain and sensory system
- The impact of uncertainty surrounding diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis
Anxiety Depression Mood Swings And Irritability
Lyme disease is known to cause psychological symptoms like anxiety and depression. These symptoms usually take a long time to appear. However, there are accounts of people getting bit by ticks and their first symptoms of Lyme including psychological changes. Note that anxiety can also come from Bartonella, a Lyme co-infection.
The Dr. kept telling me I was stressed and having panic attacks. I wasnt stressed much but they didnt believe me. I had 100 things going wrong in my body. Heart beating irregularly, seeing/hearing/smelling things that werent there, felt like someone turned up gravity.
For me, Lyme provoked panic attacks. Never had one prior to Lyme. Treatment thus far has greatly diminished the severity and frequency of the panic attacks.
What was crazy is that once I was feeling anxious about going out, and I accidentally stubbed my toe. I fell on the ground having a full-blown panic attack. When I found out I had Lyme, I was so relieved to understand that my increased anxiety and panic attacks were because of the stress my nervous system was under due to the bacterial infection.
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Which Areas Are More Likely To Have It
The tick that causes Lyme disease has been moving from the Northeast and upper Midwest into the Southern and Western U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Cases in California and Florida are on the rise. After a drop between 2017 and 2018, the numbers jumped a little bit in 2019.
But most Lyme cases in 2019 were in 15 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Washington, DC, is also a hotspot.
In 2019, Pennsylvania had the most Lyme infections, with 6,763. New York was next, with 2,847 cases.
In the Southern U.S., where itâs hotter, ticks stay under leaves so they dont dry out. This means people donât get Lyme from Southern ticks very often because they dont usually come out to bite.
Even though people only report about 30,000 cases of Lyme infection in the U.S. each year, there are actually around 476,000 a year. The same tick also can spread other diseases, including babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Powassan virus. Those diseases are also on the rise in the U.S.
Whoâs likeliest to get Lyme disease?
Boys up to age 15 and men between the ages of 40 and 60 are the most likely to get Lyme disease. Thatâs because they tend to play outside and go camping, hunting, and hiking.
Why are there more ticks now than there used to be?
There are several reasons why Lyme is spreading. Some of these are:
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How To Remove Ticks
Tick bites aren’t always painful. You may not notice a tick unless you see it on your skin. Check your skin and your children’s or pets’ skin after being outdoors.
To remove a tick:
The risk of getting ill is low. You don’t need to do anything else unless you become unwell.
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What Is The Treatment For Lyme Disease
Patients treated with antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover quickly and completely. Antibiotics commonly used for treatment include doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime axetil. Patients with certain neurologic or cardiac forms of illness may require additional treatment. It is important to speak with your health care provider if you think you might have Lyme disease. The best treatment for Lyme disease is prevention and awareness.
What Is The Outlook For Someone With Lyme Disease
Most of the people who get Lyme disease and are treated early will be fine.
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 one to six 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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Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
To prevent Lyme disease, you should lower your risk of getting a tick bite:
- Avoid areas where ticks live, such as grassy, brushy, or wooded areas. If you are hiking, walk in the center of the trail to avoid brush and grass.
- Use an insect repellent with DEET
- Treat your clothing and gear with a repellant containing 0.5% permethrin
- Wear light-colored protective clothing, so you can easily see any ticks that get on you
- Wear a long-sleeve shirt and long pants. Also tuck your shirt into your pants and your pant legs into your socks.
- Check yourself, your children, and your pets daily for ticks. Carefully remove any ticks you find.
- Take a shower and wash and dry your clothes at high temperatures after being outdoors
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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.
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Lyme Disease And The Cdc
In order for the Centers for Disease Control to recognize a Lyme case for surveillance purposes, there must be objective findings, such as positive blood tests, Bells palsy or joint swelling . The chart below reflects the CDC-reviewed surveillance case manifestations from 2001 to 2010.
This situation contributes to what many experts view as severe undercounting of Lyme disease by the CDC.
Stage : Early Localized Disease
Symptoms of Lyme disease usually start 3 to 30 days after the tick bite. One of the earliest signs of the disease is a bulls-eye rash.
The rash occurs at the site of the tick bite, usually, but not always, as a central red spot surrounded by a clear spot with an area of redness at the edge. It may be warm to the touch, but its not painful and doesnt itch. This rash will gradually fade in most people.
The formal name for this rash is erythema migrans.
Some people with lighter skin have a rash thats solid red. Some people with darker skin may have a rash that resembles a bruise.
The rash can occur with or without systemic viral or flu-like symptoms.
Other symptoms commonly seen in this stage of Lyme disease include:
Youll have a general feeling of being unwell. A rash may appear in areas other than the tick bite.
This stage of the disease is primarily characterized by evidence of systemic infection, which means infection has spread throughout the body, including to other organs.
Symptoms can include:
- disturbances in heart rhythm, which can be caused by Lyme carditis
- neurologic conditions, such as numbness, tingling, facial and cranial nerve palsies, and meningitis
The symptoms of stages 1 and 2 can overlap.
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When Should You See A Doctor If You Think You Have Lyme
The rash is a pretty good indication that you may have been bitten. Take a photo of the rash and see your doctor. At this stage, treatment with antibiotics will probably work.
If you don’t have the rash but have symptoms like fatigue, fever, and headache but no respiratory symptoms like a cough, you may want to talk to your doctor.
Early Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
More than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the Centers for Disease Control each year. The risk of Lyme disease is greatest in the spring and summer when the disease is commonly transmitted through tick bites.
Preventing tick bites is key to fending off an infection, but if you do get bit, look out for these early symptoms of Lyme disease:
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Chronic Lyme Disease Symptoms
If Lyme disease is not diagnosed and treated early, it may become late-stage or chronic. This may also occur when early treatment is inadequate. While some symptoms of chronic or late stage Lyme disease are similar to those of early Lyme, as the graphic below shows, there are important differences.
Lyme disease may spread to any part of the body and affect any body system. Typically, it affects more than one body system. In our survey, which drew over 5,000 responses, patients with chronic Lyme disease reported an average of three severe or very severe symptoms, with 74% reporting at least one symptom as severe or very severe.
An extensive list of symptoms of chronic Lyme disease was developed by Dr. Joseph Burrascano, a pioneer in treating chronic Lyme disease.
How Can I Keep My Horse From Borrelia Infection
The most important thing you can do is to protect your horse from tick bites. This recommendation, however, is hardly feasible, because there are ticks all around us. If your horse is one of those animals that are magnets for ticks, you can use repellents during tick season. When using repellents, pay attention to your animals tolerance of them.
During daily grooming, check your horse carefully for ticks. Ticks prefer thinly haired parts of the body, such as the head, neck, legs, and skin folds. Borrelia bacteria need between 8 and 24 hours to move from the tick, so the earlier you find and remove the tick, the better.
Tip: Never oil or squeeze the tick to remove it! A tick fighting against suffocation will release large quantities of saliva. It is better to remove the tick in one go!
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Lyme Disease Can Be Cured In Horses
The most common forms of Lyme disease, which are non-neurologic, can be treated with antibiotics like intravenous oxytetracycline and oral doxycycline.
The treatment usually lasts between four and eight weeks. It is possible for horses to still have antibodies in their blood after treatment. These levels are indicative of the bodys reaction to infection and not necessarily the immune response to treatment.
A single treatment should usually be successful and the horse shouldnt be expected to relapse. Although it is possible for horses to become symptomatic in the long-term, this is uncommon and the veterinarian would not expect that the horse will experience long-term side effects.
Dr. DeNotta explains that there are two more serious dangers. If the horses are still experiencing problems after treatment, this could indicate that there is something else.
Just to muddy the water a little more, tetracycline antibiotics are really good anti-inflammatories, she says.
If the horse has a lameness problem that is not being detected, it might seem to be improving while taking the medication. The pain will then get worse once the medication is stopped.
Dr. DeNotta states that one cycle of antibiotics should be sufficient. If the horse is able to tolerate the antibiotic but then becomes worse when it is removed, I wonder if the horse has pain that was caused by the anti-inflammatory property and not the bacteria infection.
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Natural Treatments For Supporting The Immune System
The microbiome is the DNA of the microbes living in the gut. Probiotics are an absolute necessity and should continue for many months after antibiotic therapy is finished. The purpose of giving probiotics over the long term is to restore the health of the microbiome. Since soilbased microbes make up most of the natural population of the gut, supplements that use soil origin microbes will more effectively colonize the gut.
Vitamin C is well known for its action in the immune system and on collagen .
Noni is an herb that supports the immune system and has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. In fruit leather form, it is relatively inexpensive and concentrated, while the juice can be quite expensive, more dilute, and contains a significant amount of sugar.
Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and support the immune system. They can be obtained through feeding whole flaxseed , naturally stabilized ground flax, hemp seeds, or chia seeds . Flax or hemp oils can be used, but they must be refrigerated during warm or hot weather. Three to six ounces twice a day is the usual dose for seeds less volume is needed with the oils. Blue-green algae also contains significant amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids.
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How To Remove A Tick
Removing a tick is the same for humans and animals. Its important you do not crush or damage the tick because it could cause Lyme bacteria to pass from the tick into your bloodstream.
How to remove a tick.