How You Get Lyme Disease
If a tick bites an animal carrying the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, the tick can become infected. The tick can then transfer the bacteria to a human by biting them.
Ticks can be found in any areas with deep or overgrown plants where they have access to animals to feed on.
They’re common in woodland and moorland areas, but can also be found in gardens or parks.
Ticks don’t jump or fly. They climb on to your clothes or skin if you brush against something they’re on. They then bite into the skin and start to feed on your blood.
Generally, you’re more likely to become infected if the tick is attached to your skin for more than 24 hours. Ticks are very small and their bites are not painful, so you may not realise you have one attached to your skin.
Lyme Disease Led To My Daughters Death Join The Fight Against Tick
Jody Hudson, Alex Hudson Lyme Foundation: With one unnoticed bite, Alex Hudson had gone from a healthy athletic 12-year-old bundle of energy to bearing a decade-long burden of an incapacitating and unknown disease. I still have many questions about how Alexs condition could have gone undiagnosed for so long. But I choose to look forward in making a positive change, and not look back at what should have happened in her case.
Lyme Disease Tick Infection Maps
These maps show the percentage of adult and nymph collected during 20172020 that were infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of . The ticks were collected in the field by the Indiana State Department of Health and tested at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . This map will be updated as ISDH continues to conduct surveillance for B. burgdorferi in ticks.
Counties colored darker blue had higher percentages of infected ticks, while counties colored lighter blue had lower percentages of infected ticks. Counties colored white had ticks collected, but none were positive. Counties colored light grey had sampling conducted, but no Ixodes scapularis ticks were found. Counties colored dark grey did not have sampling conducted during 20172020.
Each county is labeled with the number of ticks that were tested. The reported percentages from counties with small numbers of ticks tested should be interpreted with caution. For example, a county with only one tick tested would be colored darker blue if that tick were positive for B. burgdorferi, but this is not enough data to draw conclusions about the entire county.
For interactive versions of these maps, .
For maps and statistics describing human cases of Lyme disease in Indiana, .
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Antibiotic Treatment Of Lyme Carditis
Table 1. Mild
|100 mg, twice per day orally||N/A|
|500 mg, three times per day orally||N/A|
|500 mg, twice per day orally||N/A|
|4.4 mg/kg per day orally, divided into 2 doses||100 mg per dose|
|50 mg/kg per day orally, divided into 3 doses||500 mg per dose|
|30 mg/kg per day orally, divided into 2 doses||500 mg per dose||14-21||3|
Table 2. Severe *
|2 grams intravenously, once a day*||N/A|
|5075 mg/kg intravenously, once a day*||2 grams per day||1421||3 5 12|
*After resolution of symptoms and high-grade AV block, consider transitioning to oral antibiotics to complete treatment course .
Tissue sample from a patient who died of Lyme carditis. Image taken using Warthin-Starry stain at 158X.
The heart on the top shows how an electrical signal flows from the atrioventricular node to the chambers in the lower half of the heart, called the ventricles.
The heart on the bottom shows a case of third degree heart block. In this illustration, the electrical signal from the AV node to the ventricle is completely blocked. When this happens, the electrical signal of the atria does not transmit to the ventricles , which causes the ventricles to beat at their own, slower rate.
Is Lyme Disease Preventable
The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to prevent tick bites. Experts recommend avoiding areas that are likely to be infested with ticks, particularly in the spring and summer when nymph ticks feed. For any activity in tick-infested areas, it is wise to:
- Wear light-colored clothing so that ticks can be spotted easily.
- Keep arms and legs covered.
- Wear high rubber boots, because ticks usually are found close to the ground.
- Tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks or boots to help keep ticks from reaching the skin.
- Wear a hat and keep long hair pulled back.
- Shower and wash clothing after being in tick-infested areas.
- Inspect pets for ticks after they have been in the woods.
Applying insect repellents containing 10 percent DEET , which is safe to use on children and adults, on both clothes and exposed skin, and permethrin on clothes, may also help reduce the risk of tick attachment. If ticks are found attached to skin, they should be carefully removed with tweezers or forceps. A vaccine to prevent Lyme disease has been developed but is not currently available for use while it is being evaluated for possible side effects.
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What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection. You get it when the blacklegged tick, also known as a deer tick, bites you and stays attached for 36 to 48 hours. If you remove the tick within 48 hours, you probably wonât get infected.
When you do get infected, the bacteria travel through your bloodstream and affect various tissues in your body. If you donât treat Lyme disease early on, it can turn into an inflammatory condition that affects multiple systems, starting with your skin, joints, and nervous system and moving to organs later on.
The chances you might get Lyme disease from a tick bite depend on the kind of tick, where you were when it bit you, and how long the tick was attached to you. Youâre most likely to get Lyme disease if you live in the Northeastern United States. The upper Midwest is also a hot spot. But the disease now affects people in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
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.
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What Is Lyme Disease And Can You Die From It
Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and less commonly in other joints such as the ankle, elbow and wrists. In rare cases, Lyme disease can lead to death usually because of complications involving infection of the heart. You may experience symptoms that last months to years after treatment.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Your doctor will diagnose you based on your symptoms and whether youâve been exposed to a tick. They might also run a blood test. In the first few weeks of infection, the test may be negative because antibodies take a few weeks to show up.
Hopefully soon, there will be tests that can diagnose Lyme disease in the first few weeks after youâre exposed. The earlier you get treated, the less likely itâll get worse.
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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.
What Are The Stages Of Lyme Infection
There are three stages:
- Early localized Lyme: Flu-like symptoms like fever, chills, headache, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, and a rash that looks like a bull’s-eye or is round and red and at least 2 inches long
- Early disseminated Lyme: Flu-like symptoms like pain, weakness, or numbness in your arms and legs, changes in your vision, heart palpitations and chest pain, a rash , and a type of facial paralysis known as Bellâs palsy
- Late disseminated Lyme: This can happen weeks, months, or years after the tick bite. Symptoms might include arthritis, severe fatigue and headaches, dizziness, trouble sleeping, and confusion.
About 10% of people treated for Lyme infection donât shake the disease. They may go on to have three core symptoms: joint or muscle pain, fatigue, and short-term memory loss or confusion. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. It can be hard to diagnose because it has the same symptoms as other diseases. Plus, there isn’t a blood test to confirm it.
Experts arenât sure why Lyme symptoms donât always go away. One theory is that your body keeps fighting the infection even after the bacteria are gone, like an autoimmune disorder.
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Lyme Disease Has Become Increasingly Common There Are Several Reasons Why
In the US, the incidence of Lyme disease has doubled since 1991, from about four cases per 100,000 people to eight per 100,000 people. About 30,000 people are known to get sick with the disease each year, and the CDC thinks the real number of cases is about 10 times that because of underreporting. Its also spread to a wider area of the country.
The risk for the disease is concentrated in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, and Upper Midwest, with some pockets of Lyme cases on the West Coast.
Researchers have postulated several reasons why Lyme is becoming more common:
1) Changes in land use: One of the key drivers in the Northeast is the reforestation of areas that used to be farmland. The environmental features on farms reduce tick-borne disease risks in at least two ways, said Dustin Brisson, a University of Pennsylvania researcher studying Lyme.
First, deer are important hosts for adult Ixodes scapularisticks, and large deer populations are at least partially responsible for the large tick population sizes we see today, he said. And farmers tend to shoot the deer when they go near crops. Second, the absence of leaf litter on farmlands leaves ticks susceptible to dehydration and predation, which also reduces tick population sizes, he added. Together, these factors help tick and deer populations thrive when farms are reforested and increase the chances of spreading Lyme.
But global warming has extended the warm seasons around the planet.
Treatment Following A Tick Bite
- In some circumstances, a single dose of antibiotic given within 72 hours of a tick bite might prevent the development of Lyme disease. Several criteria must be met:
- The tick must be identified as the blacklegged tick .
- The tick must have been attached for at least 36 hours .
- The tick bite occurred in a highly endemic area
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Lyme Disease: Wisconsin Data
Lyme disease is native to Wisconsin. There has been an increase in disease incidence over the last three decades as Lyme disease has spread across the state.
In 2020, Wisconsin had 3,076 estimated cases of Lyme disease. The average number of reported cases has more than doubled over the past 15 years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the total number of cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. is more than 10 times higher than what is reported through surveillance. The total number of cases occurring each year in Wisconsin is likely much greater than what is reported. Wisconsin is one of the states reporting the highest number of cases.
Below are the statewide data for Lyme disease. For information on national Lyme disease data, visit the CDC National Lyme Disease Data and Statistics page.
Visit the easy-to-use Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking data portal for information on county-level data.
How Is Lyme Disease Treated
With early-stage Lyme disease, youâll take antibiotics for about 10 days to 3 weeks. The most common ones are amoxicillin, cefuroxime, and doxycycline. The antibiotics will almost always cure your infection. If they donât, you might get other antibiotics either by mouth or as a shot.
If you donât treat your Lyme infection, you might need oral antibiotics for symptoms like weakened face muscles and irregular heartbeat. You may need antibiotics if you have meningitis, inflammation in your brain and spinal cord, or more severe heart problems.
If your Lyme is late stage, the doctor might give you antibiotics either by mouth or as a shot. If it causes arthritis, youâll get arthritis treatment.
Thereâs no therapy for post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.
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Uk Lyme Disease Cases May Be Three Times Higher Than Estimated
Researchers say tick-borne disease is everywhere with 8,000 diagnoses likely in 2019
Cases of Lyme disease in the UK may be three times higher than previous estimates, according to new research.
After analysing the anonymous medical records of 8.4 million people from across the UK, scientists forecast that the total number of Lyme disease diagnoses in the UK could top 8,000 in 2019, compared with previous estimates of between 2,000 and 3,000 annual diagnoses.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, which is passed on through being bitten by an infected tick. The small spider-like creatures feed off the blood of animals and are typically found in dense, moist vegetation.
Lyme disease has many symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose. Early symptoms can be similar to those of flu, and about a quarter of cases will develop a circular red rash around the bite. Full clinical diagnosis requires a blood test, but the study found that more than half of patients in 2012, the most recent year with complete data, were treated with only suspected or possible Lyme disease.
If caught early, most cases can be successfully treated with antibiotics within four weeks, but the infection can lead to permanent damage to the joints and nervous system.
How common is Lyme disease?
How do the ticks spread the disease?
How dangerous is Lyme disease?
How do you remove a tick?
Key Points For Healthcare Providers
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Can You Die From Lyme Disease
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.
Lyme Carditis: A Rare But Serious Complication Of Lyme Disease
Lyme carditis is a serious heart problem that occurs in about 1% of reported Lyme disease cases,according to the CDC. Lyme carditis involves heart block, which is when electrical signals traveling between parts of the heart are partially or completely blocked.
Heart block can cause the heart to beat in a dangerously irregular manner. When Lyme disease is untreated, the chance of manifesting Lyme carditis increases. Thus, health professionals emphasize the importance of both prevention and being treated as soon as possible.
According to a review by Dr. Linden Hu:
Cardiac involvement occurs during the early disseminated phase of the disease, usually within weeks to a few months after the onset of infection.
Fortunately, Lyme carditis typically resolves quickly with antibiotic treatment. The prognosis is excellent.
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