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Lyme Disease Tick Bites On Humans

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Early Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

What to Do After a Tick Bite – Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center

Early symptoms will typically develop 1 to 4 weeks after being bitten, however, they can appear anytime between 3 to 30 days after exposure.

Many people with early-stage Lyme disease develop a distinctive circular red rash usually, but not always, at the site of the tick bite.

The rash is often described as looking like a bulls-eye on a dart board and is known as erythema migrans. The affected area of skin will be red and the edges may feel slightly raised.

The size of the rash can vary significantly and it may expand over several days or weeks. Typically, its around 15cm across but it can be much larger or smaller than this.

Some people may develop several rashes on different parts of their body. However, around one in every 3 people with Lyme disease do not report seeing a rash.

As well as a rash, people with early Lyme disease may experience any of the following:

  • flu-like symptoms such as fever and sweats, chills, fatigue, neck pain or stiffness, headaches, joint or muscle pains
  • paralysis of the facial muscles, typically only on one side of the face
  • nerve pains, which may be shooting, sharp or prickly and which follow the course of the nerve

Diseases Transmitted By Ticks

In the United States, some ticks carry pathogens that can cause human disease, including:

This list shows the most common tickborne diseases outside the United States, but does not list every disease.

Note: Anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, tickborne relapsing fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Powassan disease can also be acquired internationally.

How To Treat A Tick Bite

If you find a tick still on your skin, follow these steps:

  • Remove it. Donât touch the tick with your bare hands. Gently pull it straight out with tweezers. Donât twist or squeeze it. Make sure youâve removed the whole tick.
  • Save it in a sealed container. It helps to have a doctor look at or test your tick so you know if it was carrying diseases.
  • Wash your hands and the site of the bite. Once the tick is gone, use soap and water to make sure youâve cleaned off any of the tickâs saliva.
  • Itâs important to start treatment for diseases from ticks as soon as possible. If your tick bite is infected or youâve gotten a disease from it, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to help get rid of the infection or disease.

    Recommended Reading: Homeopathic Protocol For Lyme Disease

    What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

    The list of possible symptoms is long, and symptoms can affect every part of the body. The following are the most common symptoms of Lyme disease. But symptoms are slightly different for each person.

    The primary symptom is a red rash that:

    • Can appear several days after infection, or not at all

    • Can last up to several weeks

    • Can be very small or grow very large , and may resemble a “bulls-eye”

    • Can mimic such skin problems as hives, eczema, sunburn, poison ivy, and flea bites

    • Can itch or feel hot, or may not be felt at all

    • Can disappear and return several weeks later

    Several days or weeks after a bite from an infected tick, you may have flu-like symptoms such as the following:

    Weeks to months after the bite, the following symptoms may develop:

    • Neurological symptoms, including inflammation of the nervous system and weakness and paralysis of the facial muscles

    • Heart problems, including inflammation of the heart and problems with heart rate

    • Eye problems, including inflammation

    Months to a few years after a bite, the following symptoms may include:

    • Inflammation of the joints

    • Neurological symptoms including numbness in the extremities, tingling and pain, and difficulties with speech, memory, and concentration

    Some people may develop post-Lyme disease syndrome . A condition also known as chronic Lyme disease includes PLDS, but also other syndromes. Usually, these are characterized by persistent musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve pain, fatigue, and memory impairment.

    Later Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

    How to Deal with Ticks: An Adventurer

    More serious symptoms may develop if Lyme disease is left untreated or is not treated early. These can include:

    • pain and swelling in the joints
    • nerve problems such as numbness or pain in your limbs
    • memory problems
    • difficulty concentrating

    Some of these problems will get better slowly with treatment. But they can persist if treatment is started late.

    A few people with Lyme disease go on to develop long-term symptoms similar to those of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. This is known as post-infectious Lyme disease. It’s not clear exactly why this happens. It’s likely to be related to overactivity of your immune system rather than continued infection.

    Read Also: How To Avoid Lyme Disease

    Empowering You To Safely Enjoy The Outdoors Helping You To Take The Right Steps If You’re Bitten By A Tick

    You can protect yourself against Lyme disease.

    Lyme disease can spread to humans and pets through the bite of an infected black-legged tick. Mild symptoms can be treated with a short course of antibiotics. But Lyme disease can become serious, especially if not treated early.

    That’s why you need to know what to do to reduce your risk of Lyme disease if you’re bitten by a tick and the risk factors and symptoms that might point to a diagnosis.

    But don’t let concern about Lyme disease keep you inside. You can take steps before you go outside, once youre outdoors, and after you get home to prevent tick bites on yourself, your children, and your pets so you can safely enjoy the outdoors.

    What Should You Do About A Tick Bite

    If you experience a tick bite, the best way to remove it is by taking the following steps:

    • Tug gently but firmly with blunt tweezers near the head of the tick at the level of your skin until it releases its hold on your skin.
    • Avoid crushing the tick’s body or handling the tick with bare fingers as you could expose yourself to the bacteria in the tick.
    • Wash the bite area thoroughly with soap and water.
    • Do not use kerosene, petroleum jelly or hot cigarette butts to remove the tick.
    • Do not squeeze the tick’s body with your fingers or tweezers.

    Read Also: What Antibiotics Treat Lyme Disease In Humans

    Protect Yourself From Ticks

    The best way to avoid Lyme disease is to prevent the tick bites that cause it. While there is no vaccine currently available for Lyme disease, clinical trials are under way to develop one. Until then, follow these tips to protect yourself and your family.

    • Understand where to find ticks in your community and your own yard. Ticks like grassy, brushy and wooded areas, so take extra precautions when spending time in these spaces.
    • Wear long-sleeved, light-colored clothing, with tightly woven fabric when going outdoors. I also recommend that you wear long pants and tuck them into boots or socks, whenever possible. This limits the amount of skin accessible to the ticks and makes it easier to spot them on your clothes.
    • When exploring wooded areas, walk in the center of the trail or path, away from the brush. Whenever possible, stick to hard or paved paths.
    • Use insectand tick repellents to protect your exposed skin. The Environmental Protection Agency has a helpful search tool to help you find the best product to fit your unique needs.
    • Once youre back indoors, check your clothing and skin for ticks. Make sure to check your entire body, including your groin, ears, belly button, scalp, armpits, between toes, behind knees and in any skin folds. Examine children, pets and outdoor gear for ticks too.
    • Shower as soon as possible after coming indoors. This can help wash away ticks that may be on the surface of your skin but are not yet attached.
    Categories: Healthy Living

    Signs And Symptoms Of Untreated Lyme Disease

    Dead Tick Removal | Auburn Medical Group

    Seek medical attention if you observe any of these symptoms and have had a tick bite, live in an area known for Lyme disease, or have recently traveled to an area where Lyme disease occurs.

    Untreated Lyme disease can produce a wide range of symptoms, depending on the stage of infection. These include fever, rash, facial paralysis, and arthritis.

    The appearance of the erythema migrans rash can vary widely.

    • Fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes may occur in the absence of rash
    • Erythema migrans rash :
    • Occurs in approximately 70 to 80 percent of infected persons
    • Begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3 to 30 days
    • Expands gradually over several days reaching up to 12 inches or more across
    • May feel warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful
    • Sometimes clears as it enlarges, resulting in a target or bulls-eye appearance
    • May appear on any area of the body
    • Does not always appear as a classic erythema migrans rash

    Swollen Knee

    • Severe headaches and neck stiffness
    • Additional EM rashes on other areas of the body
    • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints.
    • Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
    • Heart palpitations or an irregular heart beat
    • Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
    • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord

    Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.

    Read Also: Natural Lyme Treatment For Horses

    Ruling Out Other Diseases

    Many other infections and medical conditions can produce fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue, including a very wide variety of common, generally benign viral illnesses. They can also produce some of the neurologic or cardiac features characteristic of early Lyme disease. The same tick that causes Lyme disease can also transmit other infections.

    Co-Infections Transmitted by the Ixodes Tick

    Babesiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever , and human granulocytic anaplasmosis are transmitted by the same tick that carries Lyme disease. People may be co-infected with one or more of these infections, all of which can cause flu-like symptoms. If these symptoms persist and there is no rash, it is less likely that Lyme disease is present.

    Other Tick-Borne Infections

    A number of other tick-borne diseases may resemble Lyme disease. The most important of these is southern tick-associated rash illness , which is caused by the bite of the Lone star tick, usually in southern and Southeastern parts of the United States. It causes a rash very similar to Lyme disease. The bacterium responsible for STARI remains unknown, but may be B. lonestari.

    Allergic Reactions and Insect Bites

    Other Diseases

    Protecting Property From Tick Infestation

    To decrease the tick population around your yard:

    • Clear the yard regularly by raking leaves, trimming bushes, pruning low-lying branches, mowing lawn.
    • Create a 3-foot wide barrier around the perimeter of your lawn with wood chips, gravel, or mulch.
    • Place cardboard tubes stuffed with permethrin-treated cotton in places where mice can find them. These tubes are available in hardware stores. Mice collect the cotton for lining their nests the pesticide on the cotton kills any immature ticks that feed on the mice. For best results, do several tube applications from early to late summer.
    • Erect fences or use repellants or deer-resistant plants to keep deer away.
    • Consider spraying once a year a small amount of tick-killing insecticide such as permethrin or bifenthrin around the perimeter of your yard. To avoid health and environmental risks, consult a licensed professional experienced with tick control.

    Read Also: Dr Robson East Lyme Ct

    Can Lyme Disease Completely Be Cured

    Taking oral antibiotics typically cures Lyme disease after two to four weeks. You may need to get antibiotics through the vein for four more weeks. However, theres no reason to think that Lyme disease stays in you forever after treatment.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    If youre going to spend time in an area that might have ticks, take measures to avoid being bitten. This includes wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants to make it harder for ticks to bite. If you feel sick after being in an area that probably has ticks, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. If your provider prescribes antibiotics, make sure you take all of them as instructed.

    Does It Make Sense To Take Antibiotics Just In Case

    Everything You Wanted to Know About Lyme Disease, but Were Afraid to ...

    No. People are advised not to take to try to lower the risk of getting Lyme disease after being bitten by a tick. No studies have shown that taking them as a precaution has any advantages. Antibiotics may have side effects, too.

    In any case, it’s important to see a doctor if any of the above-mentioned symptoms arise.

    Also Check: Is Neurological Lyme Disease Curable

    Which Ticks Should I Worry About

    Nymphal ticks cause most cases of Lyme disease. Because nymphs are as small as poppy seeds and their bite is painless, people often dont realize they have been bitten. Adult ticks can also infect humans, but are easier to spot and remove.

    Not all ticks are infected. Because tick studies have only been done in a relatively few places, in most of the US, tick infection rates are unknown. Even in places where ticks generally do not carry Lyme, there may be hotspots of infection depending on local conditions. The tick infection rate may also change from year to year, even in one location.

    To get a better idea of which tick-borne diseases have been found in your area, check this site.

    Who Is At Risk For Lyme Disease

    Anyone can get a tick bite. But people who spend lots of time outdoors in wooded, grassy areas are at a higher risk. This includes campers, hikers, and people who work in gardens and parks.

    Most tick bites happen in the summer months when ticks are most active and people spend more time outdoors. But you can get bitten in the warmer months of early fall, or even late winter if temperatures are unusually high. And if there is a mild winter, ticks may come out earlier than usual.

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    Before You Go Outdoors

    • Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or even on animals. Spending time outside walking your dog, camping, gardening, or hunting could bring you in close contact with ticks. Many people get ticks in their own yard or neighborhood.
    • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings. Alternatively, you can buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
    • Use Environmental Protection Agency -registered insect repellentsexternal icon containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus , para-menthane-diol , or 2-undecanone. EPAs helpful search toolexternal icon can help you find the product that best suits your needs. Always follow product instructions. Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under 3 years old.
    • Avoid Contact with Ticks
    • Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
    • Walk in the center of trails.

    Are There Different Kinds Of Ticks

    Lyme Disease Prophylaxis After Tick Bite

    Ticks are parasites that feed on warm-blooded hosts. They are related to mites and spiders because they are all arthropods. That means they have eight legs. There are many kinds of ticks. Some of the most common ticks in the U.S. include:

    • Blacklegged tick, also known as deer ticks.
    • Lone Star tick.

    Ticks can vary in size and color. Some are larger. Some are brown or reddish-brown. Others are darker. Some have lighter markings on their backs.

    Recommended Reading: How Bad Is Lyme Disease

    Where Is Lyme Disease Found

    Although Lyme disease is the most commonly-reported tick-borne disease in the United States, it is rare in Washington State. Each year, 10-40 cases of Lyme disease among Washington residents are reported, but most of these people acquire the disease following tick bites that occur in the northeast and upper mid-west states, where Lyme disease occurs more commonly. Only zero to seven confirmed Lyme disease cases per year are reported to be acquired in Washington.

    In Washington, the ticks that spread Lyme disease are primarily found in western Washington, but are also present on the eastern slopes of the Cascades.

    In North America, most Lyme disease cases occur between May and August.

    Lyme Disease In Missouri

    The first question to ask is, Does Lyme disease occur in Missouri? There have been patients with symptoms similar to those in other areas of the United States, but B. burgdorferi has not yet been isolated from any patients in Missouri. Lyme disease is nationally notifiable and is therefore notifiable in Missouri. Missouri patients who fulfill the strict CDC case definition for Lyme disease are reported as such. Because the EM rashes of Missouri origin are similar to those in other parts of the country, they are referred to as EM-like by the Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC. The clinical syndrome associated with the EM-like rash appears similar to Lyme disease and is called Lyme-like disease.

    The uncertainty regarding the occurrence of Lyme disease is not unique to Missouri . Determining the geographic distribution and prevalence of a disease-causing agent is always challenging, particularly when the agent is a relatively recently identified one. This problem is compounded many fold, when one realizes that it is not only the distribution and prevalence of the agent that must be considered, but also that of possible reservoirs and vectors that maintain and transmit the agent. All of these factors must come together at the same place and time before disease can be caused in a host.

    Read Also: Can You Treat Lyme Disease Years Later

    What To Do After Removing An Attached Tick That Has Bitten You

    In general, the CDC does not recomment taking antibiotics prophylactically after tick bites to prevent tickborne diseases. However, in certain circumstances, a single dose of doxycycline after a tick bite may lower your risk of Lyme disease. Consider talking to your healthcare provider if you live in an area where Lyme disease is common to discuss prophylaxic doxycycline and other options.