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How Fatal Is Lyme Disease

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What Should I Know About Lyme Disease

Treating Lyme disease symptoms with cannabis
  • Lyme disease is rarely fatal if treated early and is curable.
  • Awareness about Lyme disease is the best way to prevent this disease.
  • Using repellants, inspecting ticks and avoiding ticks are some of the effective ways to prevent disease occurrence.
  • While going to woody areas, wear fully covered and light-colored clothes to avoid ticks.
  • Pets can easily contract this disease, so it is necessary to make them wear a tick collar.
  • For more protection, spray the chemical permethrin on clothes and camping sites.
  • Some people have complained about lingering symptoms, even after undergoing recommended treatment for Lyme disease, known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome . The common complaints, which persist for six months or more are:

Can One Die Of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an inflammatory disease typically marked by a fever, headache, chills, and bulls-eye rash, and later by arthritis, cardiac, and neurological disorders, caused by bacteria that are spread by ticks. Lyme disease is common in North America, Europe, and Asia and is caused by the bacterium borrelia burgdorfi, and infected ticks spread the disease by biting people and/or animals. There are two kinds of ticks that carry Lyme disease in the U.S. They are the deer tick, found in the Northeast and Midwest, and the western black-legged tick, predominantly found along the Pacific coast in northern California and Oregon.

Ongoing Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

A few people who are diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease continue to have symptoms, like tiredness, aches and loss of energy, that can last for years.

These symptoms are often compared to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

It’s not clear why this happens to some people and not others. This means there’s also no agreed treatment.

Speak to a doctor if your symptoms come back, or do not improve, after treatment with antibiotics.

The doctor may be able to offer you further support if needed, such as:

  • referral for a care needs assessment
  • telling your employer, school or higher education institution that you require a gradual return to activities
  • communicating with children and families’ social care

Page last reviewed: 05 July 2021 Next review due: 05 July 2024

Read Also: Tick Tested Positive For Lyme

Video Answer: How To Protect My Dog From Ticks

Lyme disease in dogs is curable, however, this may depend on each case and at what stage of the disease the dog receives treatment during.

In most cases, symptoms will begin to lessen after 3 days of treatment.

When treating Lyme disease, it’s important to know that this illness is not always curable.

Lyme disease can cause a slower onset of signs such as arthritis, skin rash or kidney problems occasionally the chronic pain will cause aggression in infected animals.

There have been reported cases of dogs who are typically well mannered, now growling, lunging and attempting to bite.

Dogs infected with Lyme disease are more lethargic, which means they will act more tired instead of being awake and energetic.

Body temperature elevation is often association with lethargy.

By this time, the disease may be widespread throughout the body. Non-specific signs which may indicate that Lyme disease is affecting the kidneys include vomiting, lethargy, anorexia , and weight loss. The kidney form of the disease is less common, but often fatal.

  • Lyme disease is only contagious through ticks, not between other species. A dog with Lyme disease wont transmit it to a human or to other dogs, and vice versa. However, a tick can transmit Lyme disease several times in succession, so if a Lyme-carrying tick moves from your dog to you, it can transmit the disease to both of you.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms In The Three Stages Of Lyme Disease

Can Lyme disease be fatal

The stages of Lyme disease can overlap with each other, and patients may not go through all three stages. The symptoms vary depending on the duration and location of the infection.

Early localized Lyme: This stage occurs within one to 30 days of the tick bite and is characterized by a bullseye rash at the site of a tick bite. This rash is the classic first sign of an infection.. During this stage, the infection has not spread throughout the body and is curable.

Prominent additional signs and symptoms at this stage are:

  • Expanding rashes which appear as bulls eye, with or without an itching or burning sensation

Late disseminated Lyme: If Lyme disease is not treated effectively or left untreated in the first two stages, then it may progress to a chronic stage known as the late disseminated stage. This stage may occur months to years after a tick bite. Bacteria have spread throughout the body and patients develop chronic arthritis of one or a few joints and/or heart or nervous system symptoms. Some of the prominent signs and symptoms include:

Also Check: Foods That Kill Lyme Disease

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

Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented

People aren’t able to become immune to Lyme disease. So even if you’ve had Lyme disease, you can get it again. No vaccine is available currently to prevent the disease.

The FDA approved a Lyme vaccine called LYMErix in 1998. The vaccine was not 100% effective, however. The FDA still recommended preventing the disease in other ways. In 2002, the company that made LYMErix said it would no longer offer the vaccine.

To help prevent Lyme disease, follow these guidelines.

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Complications Of Lyme Disease

in many cases of lyme disease the patient goes asymptomatic for few days with only a rash at the site of bite. thus, there is a delay in starting the treatment which increases the severity of infection. further, if the patient experiences symptoms, being non-specific to lyme disease, they may be due to various other diseases. this may end up consuming more time. the thing that adds to this complexity is the non-availability of highly sensitive diagnostic method for lyme disease. the tests which are available in the current scenario carries the risk of providing false negative results. this may be due to low sensitivity to antibodies, non-availability of antibodies, immunosuppression and seronegative patient. the untreated form of this infection or delayed treatment may have the potential to mentally and physically debilitating the patients. delay in treatment makes the condition worse and exposes the patient towards the following complications of lyme disease:

  • chronic joint inflammation: there will be inflammation in the joints and the joints are swollen. there is also the tendonitis and pain.
  • neurological diseases such as neuropathy, facial palsy, visual disturbances and meningitis symptoms.
  • cognitive defects
  • carditis: it includes chest pain, palpitations and ecg changes.
  • also read:

    What Is Chronic Lyme Disease

    Fatal Lyme And Unusual Symptoms

    Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi which is most often acquired from the bite of an infected Ixodes, or black-legged, tick, also known as a deer tick. Borrelia is a gram negative bacterium. Lyme disease in Europe is more often caused by Borrelia afzelii or Borrelia garinii. 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 has been reported in all 50 states as well as China, Europe, Japan, Australia and the parts of the former Soviet UnionIt is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks.

    4.Muscle pains

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    How Is Lyme Disease Treated

    Lyme disease is most often treated with antibiotics such as doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime for several weeks. Please complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed, even if your child is feeling better, in order to kill all the bacteria.

    If your child doesn’t respond to oral antibiotics, or if the Lyme disease is affecting the central nervous system, antibiotics may need to be given intravenously . This usually doesnt require your child to be hospitalized. In many cases, a nurse can come to your home to administer the IV or teach you or another family member how to do it.

    Anti-inflammatory medicine may be prescribed for children who are experiencing pain from arthritis.

    What Is Lymes Disease Rash

    The dramatic increase in the number of cases of Lyme disease has caused a lot of panic in the medical community. Traditionally, it is treated with round after round of antibiotics. Some people never fully recover and the disease can be fatal.

    Humans get Lyme disease most commonly from tics, but also from mosquitoes, fleas and mites. People suffering from it may initially experience fever, headache, and depression, developing a bull’s eye-shaped rash. If a physician identifies this rash as Lyme disease, then treatment is immediately administered. The sooner antibiotics are given, the better your chances.

    But, the treatment with antibiotics is very controversial. Rounds of antibiotics often need to be repeated, sometimes multiple times, and the symptoms could never go away or get worse. Some people have suffered endless damaging side effects of prolonged antibiotic treatments and still have long-term debilitating symptoms thought to be caused by Lyme disease. Long-term symptoms include arthritis, joint pain, heart problems and autoimmunity.

    Talk with your doctor about treatment with vitamins and supplements. When you buy vitamins, make sure that your doctor and pharmacist know all medications that you are taking to avoid interactions.

    Don’t Miss: What Are The 3 Stages Of Lyme Disease

    What Should You Do If You Find A Tick

    • Don’t touch the tick with your bare hand.

    • Use a pair of tweezers to remove the tick. Grab the tick firmly by its mouth or head as close to your skin as possible.

    • Pull up slowly and steadily without twisting until it lets go. Don’t squeeze the tick, and don’t use petroleum jelly, solvents, knives, or a lit match to kill the tick.

    • Save the tick. Place it in a plastic container or bag so it can be tested for disease, if needed.

    • Wash the bite area well with soap and water and put an antiseptic lotion or cream on the site.

    Can You Die From Lyme Disease

    Is Lyme Disease Fatal?

    If not treated, Lyme disease can sometimes be fatal. Death records collected by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control in the U.S. found that during a four year period from 1999 to 2003, 114 records listed Lyme disease as a cause of death. Left untreated, Lyme disease eventually spreads to the brain, heart, and joints where it can do a lot of damage.If it’s not promptly and aggressively treated, it may become chronic or may cause death later on.

    Borrelia burgdorfi bacteria are not the only bacteria that ticks carry. Co-infections by other bacteria are often missed, such as Bartonella, Babesiosis, Mycoplasma fermentans, and Ehrlichiosis can also be transmitted. They can also be dangerous with their own set of symptoms, and people must be tested for them during the Lyme treatment. Co-infections can exacerbate Lyme disease or induce similar disease manifestations making the condition worse.

    How can you die from Lyme disease? Possibly as Lyme bacteria are particularly difficult to kill, and in many cases the use of antibiotics only temporarily suppresses them. They prefer to travel in tissue because of their corkscrew shape, and they’re clever enough to conceal themselves by entering healthy cells, where they remain unnoticed by the immune system. As soon as the bacteria enter the blood stream, they quickly enter the central nervous system where they cause the most harm.

    Also Check: Do At Home Lyme Disease Tests Work

    What Can Be Done To Stop The Spread Of This Disease

    Lyme disease is not transmitted from person to person.

    If you are visiting an area that may have deer ticks, wear light colored clothing so ticks can be easily spotted and removed. Remove ticks promptly and clean the area with an antiseptic. Because the transmission of the bacteria most often occurs after 36 hours of tick attachment, prompt removal of any attached ticks will help prevent infection. Wear long sleeved shirts and tuck pant legs into your socks. Using an insect repellant that contains DEET should also help reduce the risk of a tick attaching itself.

    Who Gets Lyme Disease And At What Time Of Year

    Lyme disease is transmitted via the bite of infected ticks, which attach to any part of the body, but often to moist or hairy areas such as the groin, armpits, and scalp.

    While everyone is susceptible to tick bites, campers, hikers, and people who work in gardens and other leafy outdoor venues are at the greatest risk of tick bites. As many a suburban gardener can attest, with the expansion of the suburbs and a push to conserve wooded areas, deer and mice populations are thriving, too, providing ample blood meals for ticks. For lyme disease to be transmitted, a tick needs to feed on the host for 24-48 hours.

    In the majority of cases, tick bites are reported in the summer months when ticks are most active and people spend more time outdoors. But this can extend into the warmer months of early autumn, too, or even late winter if temperatures are unusually high. Similarly, a mild winter can allow ticks, much like other insects, to thrive and emerge earlier than usual.

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    Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

    Lyme disease causes a range of symptoms that change and intensify as the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, first introduced by the tick, spread to the rest of the body. Untreated cases can cause serious problems or lead to a fatal condition. Whats tricky, too, is that the onset of initial symptoms occurs anywhere from three to 30 days after exposure.

    Clinically, there are three stages of Lyme disease: early localized disease, early disseminated disease, and late disseminated disease. Early localized disease, the initial manifestation, is characterized by:

    • Bullseye rash and swelling,the most notorious symptom, occurs in 70% to 80% of cases. Clinically referred to as erythema migrans, its appearance variesit can be a different color or shapeespecially in people of color. It arises about a week after exposure to the bacteria.
    • Other symptoms of the first stage include fever, fatigue, headache, and joint pain. Very often, those with the conditionespecially if there is no rashfeel as if theyre experiencing the flu.

    Disseminated Lyme disease symptoms arise as the bacterial infection works its way to other bodily systems, organs, and structures. Typically a month or more after exposureand potentially chronicsymptoms have changed and include:

    In its late disseminated phase, the bacterial infection has begun affecting nerve and joint structures, causing significant complications. Chronic arthritis, continued swelling of the brain , and nerve damage can all result.

    History Of Lyme Disease

    Tickborne Illnesses in New York

    Lyme disease gets its name from a small coastal town in Connecticut called Lyme. In 1975, a woman brought to the attention of Yale researchers an unusual cluster of more than 51 cases of mostly pediatric arthritis. In 1977, Dr. Allen Steere and Yale colleagues identified and named the 51 clusters Lyme arthritis.” In 1979, the name was changed to “Lyme disease,” when Steere and colleague Dr. Steven Malawista discovered additional symptoms linked to the disease such as possible neurological problems and severe fatigue. In 1982 the cause of the disease was discovered by Dr. Willy Burgdorfer. Dr. Burgdorfer published a paper on the infectious agent of Lyme disease and earned the right to have his name placed on the Lyme disease spirochete now known as Borrelia burgdorferi.

    Recommended Reading: How To Treat Chronic Lyme Disease

    Bee Pollen And Lyme Disease: The Healing Match

    Do you feel like something is going disastrously wrong with your body and nobody knows what the hell you are going through? You may be suffering from Lyme disease which is caused by Borrelia Burgdorferi and transmitted by ticks. One tick bite can be the reason of the disaster. But you may hardly notice it or even be unaware of tick bite because of its small size.

    How long do you think it takes to recognize an new disease? 2 years? 10 years?

    It took them 3 years to discover HIV disease first observed in 1980 and recognized in 1983. So on average no less then 5 years sounds reasonable. Take a wild guess, how may years did it take for modern medical science to discover Lyme?

    It was first medically determined as an illness by Reverend Dr. John Walker in 1764. It was 1982, when they found the bug itself – Borrelia Burgdorferi. And only then they confirmed, that it comes from the tick saliva. It took them 218 years to figure out what was going on. And they had modern equipment and resources.

    How did it happen, that the HIV virus 120 nanometers in size was discovered 72 times faster, that the Lyme disease spirochete, which is 12,000 times bigger then the HIV virus – 10 micrometers in size?

    If you look at it under the microscope, you will see snakes. The causative agent of Lyme disease Borrelia Burgdorferi looks like a snake, as well as syphilis. Somehow it was very difficult to identify those microorganisms that look like snakes.

    Bottom line is simple:

    Can You Have Lyme For Years And Not Know It

    Greene is one of many people who dont notice early signs of Lyme disease, brush off the symptoms, or whose medical providers missed the symptoms, which often include fever, headache, fatigue, and a bulls-eye skin rash called erythema migrans, considered the hallmark of the disease.

    How Lyme disease is diagnosed?

    Diagnosing Lyme Disease Doctors can diagnose the disease through physical findings such as a bulls-eye rash along with a history of symptoms. But not everyone has the rash, and not everyone can recall being bitten. Special blood tests can be taken 3 to 4 weeks after suspected contact to confirm the diagnosis.

    What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?

    Youre more likely to get Lyme disease if you live or spend time in grassy and heavily wooded areas where ticks carrying Lyme disease thrive. Its important to take common-sense precautions in tick-infested areas. People with Lyme disease might get a characteristic bulls-eye rash.

    Recommended Reading: How Do They Treat Lyme Disease

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