How Do People Get Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is spread to humans from the bite of a black-legged tick infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease cannot be transmitted from person to person. Most humans are infected through the bite of an immature tick during the spring, summer and fall months. Nymphs are the size of a poppy seed and difficult to see. Therefore, the nymphs have ample time to feed and transmit the infection . Adult ticks are the size of a sesame seed and are most active during late summer and fall.
Ticks wait on grass, bushes, or shrubs for an animal or human to come by. Ticks cant jump or fly. If the animal or human brushes past the tick, it can crawl on to the skin or clothes and then travel on the body to find a suitable location to attach for a blood meal.
Currently there are no areas in Newfoundland and Labrador that are believed to have permanent populations of black-legged ticks. However, low numbers of these ticks have been found, mostly on pet animals, and it is thought these are ticks carried into the province by migratory birds. Some of these ticks have been infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. For more detailed information regarding how Lyme disease affects animals in the province please visit
Untreated Lyme Disease Frequency
Its difficult to get exact numbers when it comes to Lyme disease, in part because theres only limited accounting of the conditions frequency overall, and its often misdiagnosed or mistaken for other conditions.
Currently, its estimated that 476,000 people develop it in the United States every year, with 81% of the cases clustered in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and mid-Atlantic regions.
A significantbut shrinkingproportion of those with the disease end up progressing without treatment. Current estimates are hard to come by. In 2012, researchers estimated that about 16% of Lyme disease cases present without rashincreasing the chance that the case is missed, overall. From 1.6% to 7% of all infections have no symptoms.
Knowledge and awareness of this disease have grown over the past couple of decades, greatly improving outcomes. This improving prognosis is associated with better care and detection, leading to timelier intervention.
If you live in a hot spot area for black-legged ticks, never hesitate to reach out to your healthcare professional if youre feeling sick or have a rash.
What’s The Best Way To Prevent A Tick Bite
Ticks can’t fly or jump. But they live in shrubs and bushes and can grab onto you when you pass by. To avoid getting bitten:
- Wear pants and socks in areas with lots of trees and when you touch fallen leaves.
- Wear a tick repellent on your skin and clothing that has DEET, lemon oil, or eucalyptus.
- For even more protection, use the chemical permethrin on clothing and camping gear.
- Shower within 2 hours after coming inside. Look for ticks on your skin, and wash ticks out of your hair.
- Put your clothing and any exposed gear into a hot dryer to kill whatever pests might be on them.
How do you know if you’ve been bitten?
Since ticks are so small, you’ve got to have pretty good eyes to see them.
If you have a small, red bump on your skin that looks like a mosquito bite, it could be a tick bite. If it goes away in a few days, itâs not a problem. Remember, a tick bite doesnât necessarily mean you have Lyme disease.
If you notice a rash in the shape of a bull’s-eye, you might have a tick bite. Talk to your doctor about treatment.
If you have an allergic reaction to ticks, you’ll notice a bite right away.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Post Treatment Lyme Disease
Risk factors for Post Treatment Lyme Disease include:
- Delay in diagnosis
- Increased severity of initial illness
- Presence of neurologic symptoms
Increased severity of initial illness, the presence of neurologic symptoms, and initial misdiagnosis increase the risk of Post Treatment Lyme Disease. PTLD is especially common in people that have had neurologic involvement. The rates of Post Treatment Lyme Disease after neurologic involvement may be as high as 20% or even higher. Other risk factors being investigated are genetic predispositions and immunologic variables.
In addition to Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, there are several other tick-borne co-infections that may also contribute to more prolonged and complicated illness.
Chronic Lyme Disease Vs Post
Patients typically use the term chronic Lyme disease to describe the cluster of symptoms that started after getting Lyme disease and that persist despite having received a course of antibiotic treatment which has been deemed curative by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Patients say, “I’m not cured. I have symptoms now that I never had before Lyme disease. I’m fatigued 90% of the day. My muscles ache. My brain is in a fog. I can’t think clearly any more. I’m super sensitive to light and sound. What is going on? Chronic Lyme disease does exist – I’m a living example of it!”
Whatever one calls it, the experience is the same. Most often these patients experience profound fatigue, pain, and/or cognitive impairment. Mild to moderate levels of depression and anxiety may also accompany these symptoms, as the functional limitations can lead to social isolation, inability to work, and loss of sense of one’s identity as a provider, caretaker, or friend. Sometimes patients find themselves identifying with Job – the just and good man in the Bible whose life was wrecked by illness, death of loved ones, and economic disaster he felt tormented by God.
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How Serious Is Lyme Disease In Humans
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Lyme disease a rare cause of death: study. In that case, the person died of respiratory failure that the death record tied to long-term effects on the central nervous system. The findings, the CDC researchers say, indicate that Lyme diseaseis rare as a cause of death in the U.S.
One may also ask, how long can you live with Lyme disease? They may last up to six months or longer. These symptoms can interfere with a person’s normal activities and may cause emotional distress as a result. However, most people’s symptoms improve after six months to a year. It’s not known why some people develop post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome and others don’t.
Subsequently, one may also ask, how serious is Lyme disease?
Up to 20 percent of Lyme disease cases can cause lasting symptoms, including arthritis in the joints, cognitive difficulties, chronic fatigue, and sleep disturbances, even after antibiotic treatment, according to the CDC . This condition is known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome .
What happens if you go untreated for Lyme disease?
But if it goes untreated, the infection can spread to the joints, the heart and the nervous system, which explains some of Greene’s symptoms. Patients may suffer with severe headaches and neck aches, heart palpitations, facial palsy, and arthritis with severe joint pain.
What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection you get from the bite of an infected tick. At first, Lyme disease usually causes symptoms such as a rash, fever, headache, and fatigue. But if it is not treated early, the infection can spread to your joints, heart, and nervous system. Prompt treatment can help you recover quickly.
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Stage : Later Symptoms
- shooting pains, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- heart palpitations
These symptoms may go away without treatment within a few weeks or months. However, some people develop chronic Lyme disease and have lasting symptoms.
Around of people who do not receive treatment for the disease develop recurrent episodes of arthritis with severe swelling, especially in the large joints.
What Is The Prognosis Of Lyme Disease
The prognosis for patients with Lyme disease is generally excellent when they are treated early with appropriate antibiotic regimens. However, recurrent infection is possible if the patient is again bitten by an infected tick these infections are usually due to a different strain of the local Borrelia.
Patients, especially adults, who receive late treatment or initial treatment with antibiotics other than doxycycline or amoxicillin may develop chronic musculoskeletal symptoms and difficulties with memory, concentration, and fatigue. These symptoms can be debilitating and hard to eradicate.
Some patients develop chronic arthritis that is driven by immunopathogenic mechanisms and not active infection. This condition is more prevalent among individuals with HLA-DR2, HLA-DR3, or HLA-DR4 allotypes. The arthritis is resistant to antibiotic treatment but typically responds to symptomatic treatment and shows eventual resolution.
Cardiac involvement in Lyme disease is rarely chronic. However, patients with third-degree heart block often require a temporary pacemaker insertion and, on rare occasions, a permanent pacemaker insertion.
Extremely rare cases of neonatal death or stillbirth have been reported after pregnancies complicated by untreated or inadequately treated symptomatic maternal Lyme borreliosis. Subsequent findings from CDC studies suggest that congenital infection with B burgdorferi is unlikely and that it is not directly responsible for adverse fetal outcomes.
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How Can Tick Bites Be Prevented
Ticks, and thus tick bites, are fairly common in eastern and central Canada and the United States. Black-legged ticks are less frequently found in Newfoundland and Labrador, compared to other eastern Canadian provinces such as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec. For information on Lyme disease risk areas in Canada, visit: .When visiting Lyme disease risk areas, such as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, or Quebec, the following precautions can reduce the chances of being bitten by a tick:
- Avoid wooded and brushy areas that contain high grass and leaf litter
- If you go into wooded areas, walk in the center of cleared paths
- Wear light coloured long-sleeved shirts and long pants to spot ticks more easily. Tuck your shirt into your pants, and pull your socks over your pant legs
- Use an insect repellent such as DEET or Icaridin
- Check yourself, your family and pets after being in an area where ticks may be present and,
- Shower or bathe within two hours of returning from outdoor activities to wash away loose ticks.
After going outdoors, do a full body tick check on yourself, your family and pets. Scan the entire body a tick can sometimes resemble a mole and be as small as the period at the end of this sentence.
Bartonella Results In A Disease Called Bartonellosis
Bartonella are bacteria that live primarily inside the lining of the blood vessels. They can infect humans, mammals and a wide range of wild animals. The disease that results is called bartonellosis.
Bartonella henselae causes an important emerging infection that was first reported in 1990. It is mainly carried by cats and causes cat-scratch disease, endocarditis, and several other serious diseases in humans.
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Regression And Other Symptoms In Children
Children are the largest population of Lyme patients.
The CDC study of reported Lyme cases from 19922006 found that the incidence of new cases was highest among 5- to 14-year-olds . About one quarter of reported Lyme cases in the United States involve children under 14 years old .
Children can have all the signs and symptoms of Lyme that adults have, but they may have trouble telling you exactly what they feel or where it hurts.
You may notice a decline in school performance, or your childs mood swings may become problematic.
Your childs social and speech skills or motor coordination may regress. Or your child may lose their appetite.
Children are more likely than adults to have arthritis as an initial symptom 01267-2/fulltext#sec0040″ rel=”nofollow”> 25).
In a 2012 Nova Scotian study of children with Lyme, 65 percent developed Lyme arthritis . The knee was the most commonly affected joint.
What Tests Are Available For Lyme Disease
When a person becomes infected, the body creates antibodies to protect itself from the bacteria. Certain blood tests are available to measure these antibodies. However, sometimes a “false negative” test can result if there are not enough antibodies in the blood for the tests to detect accurately. A doctor should also do a complete medical examination and gather information about your recent outdoor activities in order to make a clinical diagnosis for Lyme disease.
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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
Tick Bite Eyed In Toddler’s Death
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, Diamond’s 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.
This updated story was originally published in October, 2017
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Early Detection Is Key
The identification of Lyme disease in its early stages is very important. In most cases, if caught early, Lyme disease can be treated effectively with antibiotics.
Symptoms typically occur 3 to 30 days after you’ve been bitten. They can differ from person to person and could include any of the following:
- Aching muscles and joints
- Swollen lymph nodes
More severe symptoms could include but are not limited to:
- Severe headaches
- Facial paralysis
- Joint pain
- Irregular heart beat
- Nervous system disorders
Contact your health care provider if you’re not feeling well or are concerned after being bitten by a tick.
How Can Lyme Disease Be Treated
Antibiotics are used to treat Lyme disease. Patients recover faster if treated in the early stages.
The medications used in the treatment of Lyme disease include:
- Cefuroxime axetil
In patients with mild residual joint swelling, treatment with oral antibiotics is continued. For more serious disease of the heart, joints, and brain, intravenous antibiotics are given.
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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
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
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Lyme Disease Signs And Symptoms
Most symptoms of Lyme disease in humans usually appear between three and 30 days after a bite from an infected blacklegged tick.
You should contact your local public health unit or speak to a health care professional right away if you have been somewhere that ticks might live and experience any of the following symptoms:
- a bulls-eye rash (a red patch on the skin that is usually round or oval and more than 5 cm that spreads outwards and is getting bigger
- a bruise-like rash
- another type of unusual rash
- muscle aches and joint pains
- swollen lymph nodes
- spasms, numbness or tingling
- facial paralysis
If not treated, Lyme disease can make you feel tired and weak and, if it gets really bad, it can even harm your heart, nerves, liver and joints. Symptoms from untreated Lyme disease can last years and include recurring arthritis and neurological problems, numbness, paralysis and, in very rare cases, death.