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How Do Humans Get Lyme Disease

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Figuring Out Your Exposure

How to Spot Lyme Disease | WebMD
  • 1Consider if youâve been in a tick-prone area. The primary carriers of Lyme disease are ticks. Therefore, you need to think about whether youâve been in an area where you could pick up ticks. Grassy and wooded areas are typical places ticks hide out, but they can even be in your backyard. Pets can also bring them in from outside.XResearch source
  • Itâs also important to know if youâre in a high-incidence state. That means your state has had 10 confirmed cases per 100,000 people in the last 3 years. You can find this information at .
  • 2Be aware of tick bites. Itâs important to know if youâve been bitten by a tick, though it may fall off before you become aware. Still, if you found a tick on you and you are having other symptoms, you should visit with your doctor.XResearch source
  • Look for ticks all over your whole body any time youâve been outdoors, particularly if youâve been in a wooded area. They like to get in crevices, so look in your armpits and behind your knees, as well as at your waist, between your legs, and around your scalp.
  • Ticks are little pear-shaped bugs with eight legs. Theyâll attach themselves to your skin.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source
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    Little Hope Of Improvement

    Theres currently no plan for getting rid of the ticks for good, and it wouldnt be an easy task either. The little parasites are quite robust and can survive a cycle in the washing machine as well as time in the freezer. If you have a tick bite, make sure your encephalitis vaccination is up-to-date.

    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.


    Moody KD, Barthold SW, 1991. Relative infectivity of Borrelia burgdorferi in Lewis rats by various routes of inoculation.Am 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.

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    Border Collies And Lyme Disease

    Earlier, we mentioned that ticks love moist and humid environments. They typically live in grassy areas. If you happen to have a Border Collie, this creates an opportunity for ticks to attach themselves to your dog. As you know, Border Collies love going outdoors and theyre very energetic, thanks to their herding instincts.

    Before you and your Collie head out, put some tick repellant to them. If you have no clue about what kind of product to buy, dont think twice to talk to your vet. They can suggest the safest and most effective products your money can buy. Remember, the key to preventing Lyme disease in dogs is by limiting their tick exposure.

    What Is The Treatment For Lyme Disease

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    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.

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    Other Facts About Lyme Disease

    Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by bacteria carried by the bite of the deer tick. Bacteria are not actually present in the ticks saliva, so Lyme disease cannot be contracted if simply brushing or scratching a tick off your skin.

    There are currently three categories of Lyme disease: acute, hypersensitivity , and chronic. The most common scenario for contracting this disease is through a bite from an infected deer tick that sets its eggs on you after feeding on blood during the blood-feeding period.

    The Lyme infection is transmitted from the tick to its eggs and then, through the eggs, to humans. Lyme disease can be treated both with antibiotics and with natural herbs.

    The bacteria that cause Lyme disease are part of a family known as spirochetes, which also include the bacteria that cause syphilis. The more popular name of this family is spiral or corkscrew bacteria. These bacteria have varying numbers of short, tightly coiled tails called flagella that help them move around in their environment.

    What If Your Lyme Disease Test Is Positive

    Its important to note that a positive result doesnt mean you have a diagnosis of Lyme disease. The tests will show that antibodies are present in your blood, but a doctor will need to order another type of test before you get an official diagnosis.

    If someone gets a positive at-home test, definitely see your doctor, says Puja Uppal, DO, a board certified family medicine physician and the chief medical officer at Think Healthy.

    A doctor will likely order both an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a Western blot test, which check for antibodies specific to Borrelia burgdorferi. They will consider the results of both these tests, along with your symptoms, to make an accurate diagnosis.

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    How To Avoid Tick Bites

    To reduce the chance of being bitten:

    • cover your skin while walking outdoors and tuck your trousers into your socks
    • use insect repellent on your clothes and skin products containing DEET are best
    • stay on clear paths whenever possible
    • wear light-coloured clothing so ticks are easier to see and brush off

    What Can A Workplace Or Home Do To Reduce The Presence Of Ticks

    What Does Lyme Disease Do To Your Body?

    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.

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    The Chance Of Getting Lyme Disease

    Not all ticks in England carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

    But it’s still important to be aware of ticks and to safely remove them as soon as possible, just in case.

    Ticks that may cause Lyme disease are found all over the UK, but high-risk places include grassy and wooded areas in southern and northern England and the Scottish Highlands.

    Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures that live in woods, areas with long grass, and sometimes in urban parks and gardens. They’re found all over the UK.

    Ticks do not jump or fly. They attach to the skin of animals or humans that brush past them.

    Once a tick bites into the skin, it feeds on blood for a few days before dropping off.

    Infection Prevention And Control

    • Wear light coloured clothing to help spot ticks
    • Use insect repellents that contain DEET or Icaridin. Always follow the manufacturers instructions.
    • Do daily full body checks on yourself, your children and pets after coming in from the outdoors
    • Cut your grass and dipope of leaf litter where ticks can live.
    • Outdoor workers should shower or bathe within two hourrs of being in forested or long grass areas

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    What Causes Lyme Disease In Dogs

    Borrelia Burgdorferi is the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. In the US alone, Lyme disease is a vector-borne disease that has almost become a household name.

    The chance of getting Lyme disease is high, especially if you spend most of your time in wooded or grassy areas. If it happens that you live or in such location, take necessary precautions to avoid catching one. Mind you, Lyme disease not only affect dogs but humans too.

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    The only way to protect yourself against the disease is to avoid being bitten by a tick and when in infested areas, take the same precautions as with Lyme.

    Try to make yourself as unappealing and inhospitable to ticks as possible, said Morse. Wear long sleeves and long pants with the cuffs tucked into your socks so nothing can crawl up your leg. Use a repellent with DEET.

    Armstrong suggests taking a shower once you come back inside and then having someone inspect all the nooks and crannies of your body where ticks like to hide, like your scalp, ears, groin and behind the knees.

    Pets who spend time may bring ticks into the house, so should be give appropriate repellents.

    The standard therapy for anaplasmosis is doxycycline. Since severe symptoms are more likely to occur if treatment is delayed, doctors generally dont wait for test results to come back before prescribing the antibiotic, Armstrong said.

    Months after being diagnosed and treated for the disease, Diamonds symptoms persist.

    I still have issues with my joints and hands and shoulders, he said. And Im still extremely tired. I sleep almost every afternoon.

    Hoping to warn others, he described his ordeal in two columns published in the Massachusetts local paper The Berkshire Eagle: My tick bite nightmare, Part 1 and Part 2.

    This updated story was originally published in October, 2017

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    How Should A Tick Be Removed

    Grasp the mouthparts with tweezers as close as possible to the attachment site. Be careful not to squeeze, crush or puncture the body of the tick, which may contain infectious fluids. Pull firmly and steadily upward to remove the tick. After removing the tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite site and wash hands. The NYSDOH has created a video on proper tick removal and a printable card with steps on how to remove ticks . See or call a doctor if there are concerns about incomplete tick removal. Do not attempt to remove ticks by using petroleum jelly, lit cigarettes or other home remedies because these may actually increase the chance of contracting a tick-borne disease.

    Is It Possible To Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs

    Fortunately, Lyme disease in dogs are preventable. Assuming that you invest in tick preventive products. Though you must know that dogs are vulnerable to tickborne diseases and tick bites. Hence, the use of tick preventive products.

    Ticks are very small. Thus, making their bites almost undetectable. Add the fact that the signs of tickborne disease have a delay rate of 1 to 3 weeks. Therefore, you must be monitoring your dog closely if they show any changes in appetite or behavior, especially if you have a gut feeling that theyve been bitten by a tick.

    Luckily, there are other ways to protect your dog from tick bites as well as tickborne diseases aside from tick preventive products like:

    • Steering clear of grassy or wooded areas
    • Sticking to trails when outdoors
    • Perform tick checks daily
    • Discuss Lyme vaccine with your vet

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    How Is Lyme Disease Spread

    Not all deer ticks are infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Ticks can become infected if they feed on animals such as mice and other mammals that are infected. The disease can be spread when an infected tick bites a person and stays attached for a period of time. In general, the tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours or more. Lyme disease does not spread from one person to another. Transfer of the bacteria from an infected pregnant woman to her fetus is extremely rare.

    What Is The History Of Lyme Disease

    Dogs can get a Lyme disease vaccine. Why cant humans?

    Interestingly, the disease only became apparent in 1975 when mothers of a group of children who lived near each other in Lyme, Conn., made researchers aware that their children had all been diagnosed with joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis. This unusual grouping of illnesses that appeared rheumatoid eventually led researchers to the identification of the bacterial cause of the childrens condition, which was then named Lyme disease in 1982.

    The only vector for Lyme disease in the U.S. is the black-legged tick, or deer tick, known as Ixodes scapularis. These ticks are carriers of the Lyme disease spirochete in their stomachs Ixodes ticks may also transmit the Powassan virus. The ticks are vectors that can transmit the bacterium to humans with a tick bite. The number of cases of tick-borne illness in an area depends on the number of ticks present and how often the ticks are infected with the bacteria. In certain areas of New York, where Lyme disease is common, over half of the ticks are infected. Lyme disease has been reported most often in the northeastern United States, but it has been reported in all 50 states, as well as China, Europe, Japan, Australia, and parts of the former Soviet Union. In the United States, it is primarily contracted in the Northeast in the states from Maine to Maryland, in the Midwest in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and in the West in Oregon and Northern California. What those children actually had was Lyme arthritis.

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    You Do Not Usually Need Tests To Show That You Have Lyme Disease

    In most cases, theres a clear sign of Lyme diseasea painless, spreading rash that often grows to look like a bulls eye. If you have this rash, and you recently had a tick bite or were in an area known for Lyme disease, you dont need a test. Instead, your doctor can just start treating you with antibiotics, as appropriate.

    How Do I Remove A Tick

    You should know how to remove a tick just in case one lands on you or a friend. To be safe, remove the tick as soon as possible.

    If you find a tick:

    • Use tweezers to grasp the tick firmly at its head or mouth, next to your skin.
    • Pull firmly and steadily on the tick until it lets go of the skin. If part of the tick stays in your skin, don’t worry. It will eventually come out. But call your doctor if you notice any irritation in the area or symptoms of Lyme disease.
    • Swab the bite site with alcohol.

    Note: Don’t use petroleum jelly or a lit match to kill a tick. They won’t get the tick off your skin quickly enough, and may just cause it to burrow deeper into your skin.

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    What Is The Most Accurate Test For Lyme Disease

    Lyme disease is more common than many people think. Figures from the Center for Disease Control suggest that roughly 300,000 Lyme disease cases occur every year in the US.

    The numbers are alarming, but it gets worse as finding accurate diagnostic tests can be challenging. Although the disease is treatable, it is nearly impossible to tackle it effectively if it is not diagnosed accurately and early enough.

    Late detection can lead to severe health problems such as arthritis, heart blockage, and inability to concentrate, among other problems.

    Given the prevalence and seeming elusiveness of the disease, some of the logical questions concerned persons would ask are: what is the most accurate test for Lyme disease? And when should I get checked for Lyme disease? This article will proffer answers to these and many other related questions. But first, a little background would be in order.

    When Symptoms Persist

    Symptoms of Lyme Disease

    Some people experience Lyme disease symptoms for a long time. Just as COVID-19 patients with persistent symptoms are called long haulers, Lyme disease can also be a long-haul illness. There are many paths to long-haul Lyme. Someone might have gone undiagnosed and untreated for months or years while their illness progressed. Or, they may have been diagnosed and treated right away, but still experience ongoing symptoms.

    • Characteristics and outcome of facial nerve palsy from Lyme neuroborreliosis in the United States. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, January 2022.

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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:

  • Use fine-tipped tweezers or a tick-removal tool. You can buy these from some pharmacies, vets and pet shops.
  • Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.
  • Slowly pull upwards, taking care not to squeeze or crush the tick. Dispose of it when you’ve removed it.
  • Clean the bite with antiseptic or soap and water.
  • The risk of getting ill is low. You don’t need to do anything else unless you become unwell.

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