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Where Is Lyme Disease Found

Think the Lyme Disease Rash is Always a Bull’s-eye? Think Again! | Johns Hopkins Rheumatology

Lyme disease is present in all 50 states, but the illness is most commonly found in the Northeastern US. Lyme disease is prevalent in areas with a high population of ticks, especially ticks infected with the Lyme disease bacteria. More than 50% of ticks in New York State carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. The illness has been reported all over the world including Australia, China, Europe, and Japan.

Lyme Disease In Humans Facts

  • Lyme disease is an illness that is spread by bites from ticks infected by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia mayonii, Borrelia afzelii, or Borrelia garinii.
  • Lyme disease can affect the skin, joints, heart, and nervous system.
  • Lyme disease occurs in phases, with the early phase beginning at the site of the tick bite with an expanding ring of redness.
  • Lyme disease is diagnosed based on the patient’s clinical signs of illness and the detection of antibodies to the causative bacteria in the blood.
  • Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics.

What Are Signs And Symptoms Of The Third Stage Of Lyme Disease

Late stage Lyme disease can result when treatment is unsuccessful or started too late due to unrecognized symptoms or misdiagnosis. The late disseminated stage occurs months or years after initial infection and can have a major impact on a patients health and quality of life. Late Lyme arthritis is a third stage Lyme disease manifestation that involves fluid accumulation and pain in joints, particularly in the knee joints. Late neurologic disease is a 3rd stage condition that can also be debilitating and difficult to diagnose. Late disseminated Lyme disease symptoms include a variety of symptoms that are often neurologic in origin including: numbness in extremities, mental fogginess and concentration problems, and difficulty following conversations or processing information.

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What Are Risk Factors For Developing Lyme Disease

Lyme disease occurs most frequently in children 5-14 years of age and adults 40-50 years of age. The most substantial risk factor for Lyme disease is

  • exposure to the ticks located in the high-risk areas of the country listed above,
  • particularly in the New England states,
  • as well as Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Additional risk factors include recreational and occupational exposure to ticks and outdoor activities, including

  • gardening, in woods, and
  • fields in the high-risk areas.

No transplacental transmission of Lyme disease from the mother to the unborn child has ever been described. Again, Lyme disease is not contagious from one person to another.

Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe

Warnings after Lyme disease cases in Bedford Park ...

Lyme disease can be treated and cured with one of several oral antibiotics for 34 weeks. The skin rash will go away within a few days of beginning treatment, but other symptoms may persist for up to a few weeks. In severe cases of Lyme disease where the nervous system is involved, the antibiotic may need to be given intravenously. In late stage Lyme disease, symptoms may not go away completely, but should improve.

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Do All Ticks Transmit Lyme Disease

No. In the northeastern and north-central U.S., the black-legged tick carries Lyme disease. In the Pacific coastal U.S., the western black-legged tick spreads the disease.

Other major tick species in the U.S., like the lone star tick and the dog tick, do NOT transmit the Lyme disease bacterium. But beware: All 50 states have reported Lyme disease, as well as Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America.

Is There A Cure For Lyme Disease

Antibiotics can cure Lyme disease. Different stages of disease may be treated with different antibiotics. Treatment choices also depend on the areas of the body involved. Oral amoxicillin , cefuroxime axetil , and doxycycline are often used to treat the early stages of Lyme disease. A bull’s-eye skin rash after a tick bite is a reason to see the doctor urgently for treatment. The rash typically resolves in about 1 or 2 weeks with antibiotic treatment. Intravenous medications such as ceftriaxone may be necessary to treat later stages of Lyme disease.

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How We Care For Lyme Disease

The Division of Infectious Diseases at Boston Children’s provides comprehensive care for children and adolescents with Lyme disease and other infections. Our services include consultation, evaluation, treatment, and management of long-term complications of Lyme disease.

The commitment and compassion with which we care for all children and families is matched only by the pioneering spirit of discovery and innovation that drives us to think differently, to find answers, and to build a better tomorrow for children everywhere.

What’s The Treatment For Later

Lyme Disease (Borreliosis) – Rash, Diagnosis, and Treatment (Deer Tick Ixodes Scapularis)

There are a few options to treat the joint pain and swelling associated with Lyme disease. Pain-relievers and anti-inflammatories â such as ibuprofen â can help relieve symptoms. An in-office procedure called arthrocentesis can be used to withdraw fluid from swollen joints. Rarely, arthritis persists after antibiotic treatment. Some scientists believe that chronic joint inflammation can be triggered by the infection even after the successful elimination of Lyme bacteria.

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What Are The Subtypes Of Lyme Disease

There are different types of Borrelia in each continent resulting in various forms of Lyme disease in North America and Europe.

In North America, the infection is due to the subspecies B. burgdorferi sensu stricto and most often presents as:

  • Erythema migrans
  • Lyme arthritis

In Europe, Lyme disease is due to the subspecies B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. afzelii and B. garinii, and most often presents as:

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What Causes Lyme Disease In Humans

A bacterium called a “spirochete” causes Lyme disease, a tick-borne disease. In the United States, the actual name of the bacteria is Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii. In Europe, the bacteria Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii also cause Lyme disease. Certain ticks frequently found on deer, particularly white-tailed deer, from various locations harbor the bacterium in their stomachs. Dr. Burgdorfer originally discovered the spiral-shaped bacterium in the gut of the ticks in the United States, hence the naming Borrelia burgdorferi.

Lyme borreliosis is spread by these infected ticks when they bite the skin, which permits the transmission of the Borrelia spirochete through the skin to infect the body. So Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease. Lyme disease is not contagious from an affected person to someone else. Lyme disease can cause abnormalities in the skin, joints, heart, and nervous system. Borreliosis, a tick-borne disease, is an infectious disease that is reportable to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States.

What Looks Like Lyme Disease But Isnt

Lyme Disease Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs ...

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

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Is There A Lyme Disease Vaccine

Currently, there is no vaccine available to prevent Lyme disease. The LYMERix Lyme disease vaccine was withdrawn from the market in 2002. Clinical trials of new vaccine candidates are currently ongoing. More vaccine research is needed. Prevention is the best weapon against Lyme disease.

  • Image reprinted with permission from, 2008. CDC / James Gathany
  • Image reprinted with permission from, 2008.
  • Stage : Early Disseminated Lyme Disease

    Early disseminated Lyme disease occurs several weeks to months after the tick bite.

    Youll have a general feeling of being unwell, and a rash may appear in areas other than the tick bite.

    This stage of the disease is primarily characterized by evidence of systemic infection, which means infection has spread throughout the body, including to other organs.

    Symptoms can include:

    • disturbances in heart rhythm, which can be caused by Lyme carditis
    • neurologic conditions, such as numbness, tingling, facial and cranial nerve palsies, and meningitis

    The symptoms of stages 1 and 2 can overlap.

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    What Are Complications Of Lyme Disease

    Lyme disease can be complicated by permanent damage to joints, the heart, the brain, and the nervous system. There is recent research that demonstrates an increased risk for autoimmune forms of arthritis, including

    Medically Reviewed on 12/22/2021N Engl J MedPrimer on the Rheumatic DiseasesN Engl J MedAmerican Academy of Family Physicians

    Signs Of Lyme Disease That Appear On Your Skin

    How to recognize signs of Lyme disease

    Signs of Lyme disease

    If you see a rash or another sign of Lyme disease on your skin, see your primary doctor right away. When caught early and treated, Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics and most people recover fully.

    Lyme disease is caused by a bite from a black-legged tick. If you are bitten by this tick and develop Lyme disease, you may see a bulls-eye rash. Its a common sign of Lyme disease, but its not the only sign.

    Lyme disease occurs in stages. Heres what you may see on your skin during each stage.

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    What Can I Expect Long Term If My Child Has Lyme Disease

    If Lyme disease is caught and treated early, most children will make a full recovery. Some children with Lyme disease go on to experience what’s called a post-infectious syndrome with symptoms that may include feeling fatigue, joint aches and pains, headaches, difficulty sleeping, and problems concentrating. Since the infection itself is gone by this time, doctors generally don’t prescribe antibiotics. Each child is different, but it’s not uncommon for symptoms of post-infectious syndrome to linger for months, or even years, and they can be made worse by stress or other illness. But most children do make a full recovery.

    Blacklegged, or deer, ticks are very small, so it helps to know what to look for when doing a tick check. Adults are about the size of sesame seeds and in the nymph or larva stage, they can be as tiny as a poppy seeds.

    Testing For Lyme Disease In Dogs

    Lyme disease spread by ticks can be diagnosed with a simple blood tests in your veterinarian’s clinic. The C6 test is very sensitive and specific at diagnosing cases of Lyme disease and depending on clinical signs and concurrent results, treatment may be started immediately. If treatment has been successful, reductions in the QC6 at six months should be lower than the starting point.

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    Other Causes Of Lyme Disease Symptoms

    Sometimes people think they have the symptoms of Lyme disease, but it is a different disease caused by ticks. Diseases caused by tick bites that are known in Australia are:

    • Queensland tick typhus
    • Q fever
    • mammalian meat allergy

    Sometimes there is no known diagnosis for symptoms such as fatigue, disordered thinking, disturbances of the senses, joint pain and headaches. These symptoms are real and can be very debilitating. In this case, you doctor will work with you to manage the symptoms and improve your quality of life.

    Symptoms: As The Infection Spreads

    Lyme disease rash: Symptoms, stages, and identification

    If the disease goes untreated in its early stages, over several weeks or months it can spread to other areas of the body like your:

    • Joints
    • Heart
    • Nervous system

    You could also have more rashes and periods of pain and weakness in your arms or legs. Other symptoms include:

    • Facial muscle paralysis
    • Headache
    • Inflamed brain and spinal cord

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    How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Lyme Disease

    The key to prevention is keeping your dog from being exposed to ticks. Ticks are found in grassy, wooded, and sandy areas. They find their way onto an animal by climbing to the top of a leaf, blade of grass, or short trees, especially cedar trees. Here they wait until their sensors detect an approaching animal on which to crawl or drop. Keeping animals from thick underbrush reduces their exposure to ticks. Dogs should be kept on trails when walked near wooded or tall grass areas. Vaccination against Lyme disease is recommended for pets that live in endemic areas or that travel to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.

    “Vaccination against Lyme disease is recommended for pets that live in endemic areas or that travel to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.”

    Anxiety Depression Mood Swings And Irritability

    Lyme disease is known to cause psychological symptoms like anxiety and depression. These symptoms usually take a long time to appear. However, there are accounts of people getting bit by ticks and their first symptoms of Lyme including psychological changes. Note that anxiety can also come from Bartonella, a Lyme co-infection.

    The Dr. kept telling me I was stressed and having panic attacks. I wasnt stressed much but they didnt believe me. I had 100 things going wrong in my body. Heart beating irregularly, seeing/hearing/smelling things that werent there, felt like someone turned up gravity.

    For me, Lyme provoked panic attacks. Never had one prior to Lyme. Treatment thus far has greatly diminished the severity and frequency of the panic attacks.

    What was crazy is that once I was feeling anxious about going out, and I accidentally stubbed my toe. I fell on the ground having a full-blown panic attack. When I found out I had Lyme, I was so relieved to understand that my increased anxiety and panic attacks were because of the stress my nervous system was under due to the bacterial infection.

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    What Happens After A Tick Bite

    Ticks can attach and feed in any part of the human body. The bite is painless. Because they are very tiny nymph bites are often overlooked. Borrelia are transmitted from the midgut of the infected tick to the attached skin when attachment lasts for 3648 hours.

    Several things can happen after being bitten by an infected tick.

    • The body’s defence mechanisms can overwhelm and eliminate the infecting bacteria.
    • The bacteria can remain localised at the site of the bite and cause a localised skin infection.
    • The bacteria may disseminate via the blood and lymphatic system to other organs and cause a multisysteminflammatory disease.

    How Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented

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    The best way to avoid Lyme disease is to prevent it. Take the following measures to reduce the risk of a tick bites and illness.

    • Wear shirts with long sleeves and pants to protect the skin.
    • Apply bug repellant containing DEET to exposed areas.
    • Examine clothing, kids, and pets for ticks after excursions to areas known to harbor ticks.
    • If a tick bites, use tweezers to remove it from the skin. Place the tick in a closed container and provide it to health professionals for identification.
    • Remove clothes and bathe — washing the entire body and scalp — to help prevent tick bites and the transmission of Lyme disease.

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    What Are The Clinical Signs Of Lyme Disease

    Some people with Lyme disease develop a characteristic bull’s-eye rash at the site of the bite within three to thirty days. If this occurs, the disease can be easily diagnosed at an early stage.

    However, signs of Lyme disease are more difficult to detect in animals than in people. The characteristic rash does not develop in dogs or cats. In fact, Lyme disease is practically unheard of in cats.

    “Affected dogs have been described as if they were walking on eggshells.”

    Many dogs affected with Lyme disease are taken to a veterinarian because they seem to be experiencing generalized pain and have stopped eating. Affected dogs have been described as if they were walking on eggshells. Often these pets have high fevers. Dogs may also begin limping. This painful lameness often appears suddenly and may shift from one leg to another. If untreated, it may eventually disappear, only to recur weeks or months later.

    Some pets are infected with the Lyme disease organism for over a year before they finally show symptoms. 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.

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