Tuesday, May 24, 2022

How To Identify Lyme Disease

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What’s The Best Way To Prevent A Tick Bite

Tick Bites & Lyme Disease

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.

How Is Lyme Disease In Dogs Transmitted

The transmission of Lyme disease is dependent on the life cycle of the black-legged deer tick. The tick goes through three stages in life. In the spring, the larvae hatch from eggs and will find a host to feed ona small mammal like the white-footed mouse. If the mammal the tick latches itself onto is infected, the larvae will also become infected.

When the cool weather comes the larvae will winter over and wait to find another host for the spring as a nymph. Once attached to another mammal, the nymph can molt and reach the final stage of adulthood. Deer ticks get their name because they are most commonly attach themselves to the white-tail deer that rub up against vegetation the ticks are waiting on. Deer ticks can attach themselves to humans, dogs, and any other mammal walking through forested areas.

Prevention & How To Check Your Dog For Ticks

During tick season be aware of areas that could have tick infestations and monitor your dogs coat after hiking through thick brush.

Tick Control:

  • Vaccination. If your dogs live in an eastern coastal state near the woods it might be worth getting your dog vaccinated. However, some medical experts have criticized vaccinating for Lyme disease in dogs, stating that is ineffective.
  • Topical Insecticides. There are various effective insect repellents on the market like K-9 Advantix or Spot On for Dogs. Applying these to your dog will ensure that if a tick bites your dog it will die and release within 12 hours.
  • Tick Collars. Using a tick collar with the active ingredient Amitraz which will repel ticks but not fleas.

After your dog adventures outside look for red irritated areas that are inflamed. This could be a possible tick bite. Check your dogs coat by running your fingers through their coat like a comb feeling for lumps as you go. If you see any bumps, make note of its position but do not force a comb through the area. This will make the bite more painful. You will also need to check their ears with a flashlight. If your dog is showing any symptoms of Lyme disease, please seek out a veterinary diagnosis.

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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.

  • Use fine-tipped tweezers and grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible.
  • Do not use a lit match or cigarette, nail polish or nail polish remover, petroleum jelly , liquid soap or kerosene to remove the tick.
  • Pull the tick straight out, gently but firmly.
  • Do not jerk or twist the tweezers while pulling the tick out.
  • Do not squeeze the tick you might crush it.
  • How to remove a tick.

  • Once you have removed a tick, wash your skin with soap and water and then disinfect your skin and your hands with rubbing alcohol or an iodine swab.
  • Before disposing of the tick, call or check the website of your local public health unit to get advice on how to identify the tick. You can also submit a photo of the tick to etick.ca for identification.
  • What If A Tick Bites My Dog

    Tips For Preventing and Identifying Tick

    The more ticks in your region, the likelier it is that your furry pal will bring them home.

    Your dog is much more likely to be bitten by a tick than you are. And where Lyme disease is common, up to 25% of dogs have had it at some point.

    About 10% of dogs with Lyme disease will get sick. 7-21 days after a tick bite, your dog might seem like theyâre walking on eggshells. They also might have a fever and enlarged lymph nodes. Plus, they might seem tired. Dogs also get antibiotics for Lyme.

    What if my dog brings ticks into my home?

    Use a tick control product on your pet to prevent Lyme disease. Also, have your dog vaccinated against Lyme.

    Check your dogâs whole body each day for bumps. If you notice a swollen area, see if thereâs a tick there. If you find a tick, wear gloves while you use tweezers to separate it from your dog. Then, put it in soapy water or alcohol, or flush it down the toilet.

    Use alcohol to clean the spot on your dog where the tick was attached. Keep an eye on that spot, and also on your dog to make sure theyâre behaving normally. If you notice any changes, check with your vet.

    Show Sources

    John Aucott, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine director, Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center.

    CDC.

    Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: âVital Signs: Trends in Reported Vectorborne Disease Cases — United States and Territories, 2004-2016.â

    American College of Rheumatology.

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    Who Gets Lyme Disease

    Anyone bitten by an infected deer tick can get Lyme disease. Most U.S. cases of Lyme disease happen in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. But Lyme disease is found in other parts of the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia too.

    Stage : Quickly Expanding Rash

    After being bitten by a black-legged tick, a quickly growing rash can appear. This is the earliest stage of Lyme disease, known as stage 1.

    Most people who develop a rash, get it within days or weeks of being bitten by a tick.

    Where you see the rash: If you develop a rash, it appears near the tick bit you. For most people, that means the back, groin, armpit, or a lower leg. However, a tick can bite you anywhere.

    What the rash can look like: You may see a spot or bump on the skin, which is the bite mark. Around or near the bite mark, a rash develops. Some people see the bulls-eye rash . You can also have one of the other rashes shown here.

    Early rash caused by Lyme disease

    Notice the bite mark in the center of this early rash, which will expand quickly.

    Bull’s-eye rash on woman’s upper arm

    This is another early sign of Lyme disease.

    Lyme disease rash with lighter color on the outside

    This rash has expanded, but you can still see the bite mark in the center.

    Rash from Lyme disease has begun to clear

    As the rash begins to clear, the redness fades.

    If you develop a rash during this stage, you may notice that it:

    • Feels smooth and warm to the touch

    • Causes a burning sensation

    • Itches or feels painful

    • Has an outer edge that feels scaly or crusty

    When the rash and symptoms begin: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the rash begins 3 to 30 days after the tick bites you.

    About 50% of people who have Lyme disease develop flu-like symptoms , which include:

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    What You Need To Know About Lyme Disease

    • Lyme disease is an infection caused by the spiral-shaped bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is most commonly transmitted by a tick bite.

    • There are over 300,000 estimated new cases of Lyme disease in the United States each year.

    • The symptoms of Lyme disease depend on the how long the infection has been present in the body. The first sign of Lyme disease is often an expanding round or oval red “bullseye” rash.

    • If left untreated, people may develop neurological symptoms and heart problems, and have an approximately 60 percent chance of developing Lyme arthritis.

    Treatment For Lyme Disease

    Lyme disease: What you need to know

    Treatment for Lyme disease is usually done with a 2-3 week course of antibiotics and is generally very effective, especially when treatment is done early in the course of the illness. If you think you have symptoms caused by a deer tick bite you can get care quickly and virtually by contacting your doctor or through Everyday Online.

    A short, one-day antibiotic treatment might be called for to prevent Lyme disease after a deer tick bite if several criteria are met:

    • The tick is identified as a blacklegged tick
    • The tick was attached for at least 36 hours. If the tick you pulled off is engorged or puffed up with blood, then it was probably on this length of time.
    • The treatment is started less than 72 hours after finding the attached tick.
    • The treatment is only for adults and children 8 years or older.

    Find more information about Lyme disease and other illnesses caused by deer ticks by visiting the Minnesota Department of Health website or the CDC website.

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    Stage 2 And 3 Lyme Rashes

    During stages 2 and 3 of Lyme disease, rashes may also be present. During stage 2, the rash will take roughly one to six months to appear. It will be markedly different from stage 1 and appear as small oval-shaped rashes, typically appearing on various parts of the body such as the face, legs, and arms. The center of a stage 2 Lyme disease rash may also be darker in the center or appear bluish with a clear center. In contrast with stage 1 rashes, stage 2 skin lesions are not likely to grow as the disease progresses.

    Stage 3 Lyme disease does not often encompass rashes however, if skin changes do occur, they will typically appear on the hands and feet. Symptoms of skin changes in stage 3 Lyme disease can include pain, redness, and swelling. If the infection is severe, stage 3 will present with some skin symptoms such as:

    • Hardening, thinning, or tearing of the skin
    • Hair loss around the affected area
    • Sweat gland loss

    In very rare cases, lymphoma tumors may form on the skin.

    Where Do Ticks Bite

    You can find a tick bite anywhere. However, although they can and do attach to any part of the body, there are certain body parts they more commonly move toward, like the hairline, or in tucked-away places, like the armpits, groin, and behind knees, says Dill. Thats because ticks have heat sensors that allow them to seek out warmer, moist places. Recently, doctors even discovered a tick attached to a 9-year-old boys eardrum.

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    Cdc Supports The Development Of New Tests

    New tests may be developed as alternatives to one or both steps of the two-step process. Before CDC will recommend new tests, they must be cleared by the Food and Drug Administration . For more details, see: Recommendations for Test Performance and Interpretation from the Second National Conference on Serologic Diagnosis of Lyme Disease.

    How Is It Diagnosed

    Lyme Disease, COVID

    If youâve been outside in an area where ticks are known to live, you should tell your doctor. Theyâll also want to know about the symptoms youâre having. These details are crucial to making a diagnosis of Lyme disease.

    Early symptoms that usually occur within the first month after a tick bite can include:

    • Rash at the site of the tick bite that may look like a âbullâs-eyeâ
    • Racing heart
    • Problems with your short-term memory

    Symptoms that come and go are common with Lyme disease. They will also depend on the stage of the disease.

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    Ethics Approval And Consent To Participate

    No ethical approval was required as these data were collected for public health surveillance under The Health Protection Legislation Guidance 2010 . Hospital Episode Statistics data were made available by NHS Digital Approvals for the use of anonymised HES data were obtained as part of the standard NHS Digital data access process. Patient Episode Database for Wales data were made available by NHS Wales Informatics Service. Approvals for the use of anonymised PEDW data were obtained as part of the standard NHS Wales Informatics Service data access process.

    Sample Types For Lyme Disease Testing

    For routine Lyme disease serological testing, you must send a serum sample .

    For testing for neurological Lyme disease, you must send paired CSF and serum samples taken on the same day. If possible, please provide CSF cell count and total albumin, IgG and IgM values. If albumin, IgG and IgM measurements are not available, RIPL will make arrangements for these measurements at additional cost.

    PCR testing is available. We recommend that specialists call RIPL to discuss appropriate sample types for PCR. These may include joint fluid, biopsy tissue, CSF and EDTA plasma. Please submit biopsies as fresh tissue in a sterile container, ideally with a drop of sterile saline to prevent the tissue drying out.

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    What Looks Like Lyme Disease But Isnt

    Sometimes rashes that form due to other health conditions can appear the same as a Lyme disease rash. Thats why its important to know the difference between the rashes and symptoms of the condition. Many other symptoms of Lyme disease also present as other conditions, which is why it is aptly nicknamed The Great Imitator. In some cases, a typical allergic reaction caused by a bug bite can also be mistaken for Lyme disease.

    Image by on Is a Lyme disease rash flat or raised?

    Other types of rashes that may be confused with a Lyme disease rash include:

    • Ringworm: Ringworm is a fungal infection that appears as a ring-shaped rash, much like Lyme disease rashes.
    • Pityriasis rosea rash: Oval, pink, scaly dots appear on the skin with raised borders. They could be mistake for the Lyme disease rashes that appear in stage 2.
    • Granuloma annulare rash: This type of rash presents as red bumps on the skin that are in a circular pattern, similar to the shape of a Lyme disease rash.
    • Urticaria multiform: This rash, otherwise known as hives, appears as red welts on the skin that can be separated or form into one larger lesion.

    Featured image by Nicooografie on Pixabay

    Ongoing Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

    Ticks and Lyme disease – all you need to know

    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

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    Alternative Diagnostic Tests Not Available At Ripl

    Tests used in the NHS and PHE to identify Lyme disease are well characterised, standardised, and are highly reproducible between laboratories. They are the methods of choice recommended in the 2018 NICE Lyme disease guideline, following an extensive review of the evidence and literature. International external quality assurance schemes are in place to ensure consistency between different centres offering these tests.

    Several private laboratories in Europe and the USA offer an alternative type of test called an ELISpot to diagnose Lyme disease. This looks for different markers in blood samples compared to conventional validated Lyme disease serology tests. The laboratories using these tests in the diagnosis of Lyme disease do not publish their methods, and have not produced any peer reviewed publications on their clinical value.

    This makes it very difficult to verify their results, especially as there are no national or international EQA schemes for Lyme disease ELISpot tests and therefore no independent verification of performance between laboratories. Without independent evidence it is impossible to determine the validity of results produced using these alternative tests.

    RIPL cannot interpret the results of alternative diagnostic tests.

    When To See A Doctor

    Anyone who develops a rash or fever in the weeks following a tick bite should contact their doctor.

    It can help to make notes about the bite, such as when it occurred and any symptoms that appeared after the bite. Taking pictures of the bite or the tick itself may also assist a doctor with diagnosis.

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    How Do I Avoid Getting Bitten By A Tick

    The best way to protect you against Lyme disease and other tickborne illnesses is to avoid tick bites. This includes avoiding tick-infested areas. However, if you live in or visit wooded areas or areas with tall grass and weeds, follow these precautions against Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and tularemia:

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