Which Areas Are More Likely To Have It
The tick that causes Lyme disease has been moving from the Northeast and upper Midwest into the Southern and Western U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Cases in California and Florida are on the rise. After a drop between 2017 and 2018, the numbers jumped a little bit in 2019.
But most Lyme cases in 2019 were in 15 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Washington, DC, is also a hotspot.
In 2019, Pennsylvania had the most Lyme infections, with 6,763. New York was next, with 2,847 cases.
In the Southern U.S., where itâs hotter, ticks stay under leaves so they don’t dry out. This means people donât get Lyme from Southern ticks very often because they don’t usually come out to bite.
Even though people only report about 30,000 cases of Lyme infection in the U.S. each year, there are actually around 476,000 a year. The same tick also can spread other diseases, including babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Powassan virus. Those diseases are also on the rise in the U.S.
Whoâs likeliest to get Lyme disease?
Boys up to age 15 and men between the ages of 40 and 60 are the most likely to get Lyme disease. Thatâs because they tend to play outside and go camping, hunting, and hiking.
Why are there more ticks now than there used to be?
There are several reasons why Lyme is spreading. Some of these are:
The Chance Of Getting Lyme Disease
Not all ticks in England carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
But it’s still important to be aware of ticks and to safely remove them as soon as possible, just in case.
Ticks that may cause Lyme disease are found all over the UK, but high-risk places include grassy and wooded areas in southern and northern England and the Scottish Highlands.
Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures that live in woods, areas with long grass, and sometimes in urban parks and gardens. They’re found all over the UK.
Ticks do not jump or fly. They attach to the skin of animals or humans that brush past them.
Once a tick bites into the skin, it feeds on blood for a few days before dropping off.
How To Tell If You Have Lyme Disease
The initial Lyme disease symptom is a circular, red rash at the site of the tick bite, often described as a bullseye rash. This usually appears within four weeks of being bitten. Some people also experience flu-like symptoms such as fever and headaches.
If left untreated, the bacteria can spread to other areas of the body, which can cause a range of more serious symptoms. Problems include:
- Joint problems from mild pain to severe inflammation
- Heart problems myocarditis , chest pain and palpitations
- Nerve and brain problems such as facial paralysis , encephalitis or meningitis
- More rashes similar to erythema migrans elsewhere on your body
Stage three chronic Lyme disease
Ongoing symptoms can occur months to years after infection, often after a period of no symptoms at all. Stage three symptoms include:
- Ongoing arthritis
- Confusion, memory problems and difficulty concentrating
- Neuropathy numbness, nerve pain or tingling
You May Like: Hotels Near Old Lyme Ct
When Not To Test
People with a typical rash of erythema migrans should be treated with antibiotics and not tested. This is because the antibody test has very low sensitivity at this stage as the antibody response takes some time to develop. False negatives in the acute phase are as high as 50%, even in those with disseminated disease.
Testing should not be used to screen for Lyme disease in people with a low risk of infection and nonspecific symptoms, as this has poor positive predictive value.
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.
Recommended Reading: Doctors Who Specialize In Lyme Disease
What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease We Asked A Gp
Amy Schumer has revealed she has Lyme disease. Here’s everything you need to know about the illness
US actress and comedian Amy Schumer has revealed that she was diagnosed with Lyme disease this summer.
The 39-year-old entertainer said she may have had the condition ‘for years’. Posting on Instagram, the mother-of-one told followers that she ‘feel good’ but asked for advice about living with Lyme disease.
The caption, uploaded alongside a photo of the star as a child, read: ‘Anyone get LYME this summer? I got it and Im on doxycycline. I have maybe had it for years. Any advice? Can you have a glass of wine or 2 on it?’
Amy went on to explain: ‘I know to stay out of the sun. Im also taking these herbs from cape cod called lyme-2. Please comment or text me on my number in my bio. I also want to say that I feel good and am excited to get rid of it.’
But what actually is Lyme disease? What are the symptoms? And how is Lyme disease treated? We spoke to Dr Houda Ounnas, a GP at 9 Harley Street.
Should I Get Tested By The Nhs Or A Privately Funded Laboratory Is There A Difference
If patients have a recent tick exposure but no bulls eye rash, guidance to NHS doctors in England is to take a blood sample and send it for testing at an NHS or UKHSA laboratory.
The tests work by looking for antibodies that a person infected with Lyme disease would produce.
The antibodies take some time to reach levels that can be detected,therefore, tests carried out within the first 4 weeks of infection may be negative and may need to be repeated on a fresh blood sample taken 4 to 6 weeks after the first test.
We recommend people exercise caution with private tests and speak to their NHS doctor for advice before spending money on private tests or treatments, as some private laboratories and clinics offer tests and treatments for Lyme disease which may not be supported by scientific evidence.
Diagnostic tests done outside the NHS may also produce false positives where the test shows positive for Lyme disease when the patient doesnt actually have it. Our advice is to seek help through the NHS.
You May Like: Antibiotic Treatment For Lyme Disease
Awareness Of Lyme Disease
1.1.1 Be aware that:
the bacteria that cause Lyme disease are transmitted by the bite of an infected tick
ticks are mainly found in grassy and wooded areas, including urban gardens and parks
tick bites may not always be noticed
infected ticks are found throughout the UK and Ireland, and although some areas appear to have a higher prevalence of infected ticks, prevalence data are incomplete
particularly high-risk areas are the South of England and Scottish Highlands but infection can occur in many areas
Lyme disease may be more prevalent in parts of central, eastern and northern Europe and parts of Asia, the US and Canada.
1.1.2 Be aware that most tick bites do not transmit Lyme disease and that prompt, correct removal of the tick reduces the risk of transmission.
1.1.3 Give people advice about:
where ticks are commonly found
the importance of prompt, correct tick removal and how to do this
covering exposed skin and using insect repellents that protect against ticks
how to check themselves and their children for ticks on the skin
sources of information on Lyme disease, such as Public Health England’s resources and guidance on Lyme disease and organisations providing information and support, such as patient charities.
For a short explanation of why the committee made the recommendations and how they might affect practice, see the rationale and impact section on awareness of Lyme disease.
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.
Read Also: Can Stage 3 Lyme Disease Be Cured
Lorraine: Dr Hilary Discusses Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Lyme disease is spread to humans by infected ticks which are tiny spider-like creatures which attach themselves to a person by biting the skin and embedding their mouths. The critters are found in wooded, heath and grassy areas, or can be found in a persons own garden or local park. Dr Joshua Berkowitz, founder of the Lyme Disease Clinic in London spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk and discussed the six lesser-known warning symptoms indicating you may have been infected.
What If Lyme Disease Goes Untreated
If Lyme disease goes untreated, it can affect other systems in the body. According to the , common symptoms of later stage Lyme disease include:
- severe headaches and neck stiffness
- additional erythema migrans rashes on other areas of the body
- facial palsy, which is a loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face
- arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly in the knees and other large joints
- intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
- heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat
- episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
- inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
- nerve pain
- shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
You May Like: Can Nerve Damage From Lyme Disease Be Reversed
Should You Get A Test For Lyme Disease
If Lyme disease is treated soon after a tick bite, the outlook is great. Most cases of Lyme disease respond to a 2- to 4-week round of antibiotics.
If Lyme disease goes untreated, it can be more difficult to eliminate. For some, it can lead to inflammation of the joints, heart, and nervous system. Progression of the disease, and its severity, can vary from person to person.
Lyme disease is staged in categories: acute, early disseminated, and late disseminated. Later stages of Lyme disease may involve multiple systems in the body.
The most common sign of Lyme disease is an erythema migrans, or bulls-eye rash. The rash often appears after a delay of 3 to 30 days after the tick bite, according to the
Research from 2014 suggests that the bulls-eye rash may last for 3 to 4 weeks. About 80 percent of people with Lyme disease have a single erythema migrans rash. But the bacteria can spread and lead to multiple rashes, indicating disseminated Lyme disease.
While a rash is the most common symptom of Lyme disease, it isnt the only one.
With disseminated Lyme disease, symptoms can also include neurologic conditions, such as cranial nerve palsy and meningitis that mimics aseptic meningitis. Heart inflammation can also be a sign of Lyme disease.
If youre experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, an at-home test may help you identify Lyme disease. With the click of a button, a test can be shipped to your front door.
To select the best tests, we look at studies and user reviews.
How To Prevent Lyme Disease
Tick bites can go unnoticed and not all tick bites will result in Lyme disease. Things you can do include:
- wearing clothing that covers your skin whilst walking in green spaces to prevent ticks finding a spot to bite
- consider wearing light colour clothing so you can easily see ticks and brush them off
- use insect repellent
- check for ticks on your clothes or skin, and on children and pets after being outdoors
- remove any ticks you find immediately with a tick-removal tool or fine tipped tweezers
Early identification and correct removal of the tick reduces the risk of transmission of Lyme disease.
Read Also: How To Know If I Have Lyme Disease
Treatment From Your Gp
If your GP thinks you might have Lyme disease, they’ll prescribe a 3-week course of antibiotics. It’s important to finish the course, even if you start to feel better.
Some people with severe symptoms will be referred to a specialist in hospital for injections of stronger antibiotics.
Most people with Lyme disease get better after antibiotic treatment. This can take months for some people, but the symptoms should improve over time.
People with symptoms of Lyme disease that last a long time after treatment may be referred to a specialist in hospital for advice and more blood tests.
Some websites offer tests and treatment for Lyme disease that may not be supported by scientific evidence.
Speak to your doctor for advice before buying tests or treatment online.
Adults And Young People Aged 12 Years And Over
Discuss the diagnosis and management of Lyme disease in children and young people under 18 years with a specialist, unless they have a single erythema migrans lesion and no other symptoms, then treat as Lyme disease.
If an adult with Lyme disease has focal symptoms, consider a discussion with or referral to a specialist, without delaying treatment.
Lyme disease without focal symptoms
Erythema migrans and/or non-focal symptoms
- 200mg daily for 21 days
- Be aware of the risk of photosensitivity, patients should avoid exposure to direct sunlight
- 1g three times a day for 21 days
- 500mg daily for 17 days
- Do not use azithromycin to treat people with cardiac abnormalities associated with Lyme disease because of its effect on QT interval.
Lyme disease with focal symptoms
Affecting cranial nerves or peripheral nervous system
- 200mg daily for 21 days
- Be aware of the risk of photosensitivity, patients should avoid exposure to direct sunlight
- 1g three times a day for 21 days
Affecting the central nervous system
Admit to secondary care for consideration of intravenous ceftriaxone , via outpatient or home parenteral antibiotic therapy service where available . When patients are stabilised, a switch to oral doxycycline may be considered. Total antibiotic course length 21 days.
Lyme arthritis or acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans
- 1g three times a day for 28 days
You May Like: What Is Lyme Disease In Dogs
Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.
Lyme disease is an underreported, under-researched, and often debilitating disease transmitted by spirochete bacteria. The spiral-shaped bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, are transmitted by blacklegged deer ticks. Lymes wide range of symptoms mimic those of many other ailments, making it difficult to diagnose .
The blacklegged ticks can also transmit other disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites. These are known as coinfections . These ticks that transmit Lyme are increasing their geographical spread. As of 2016, they were found in about half the counties in 43 of 50 states in the United States .
Lyme is the fifth most reported of notifiable diseases in the United States, with an estimated 329,000 new cases found annually . Some studies estimate that there are as many as 1 million cases of Lyme in the United States every year .
Most people with Lyme who are treated right away with three weeks of antibiotics have a good prognosis.
But if youre not treated for weeks, months, or even years after infection, Lyme becomes more difficult to treat. Within days of the bite, the bacteria can move to your central nervous system, muscles and joints, eyes, and heart .
Here is a list of 13 common signs and symptoms of Lyme disease.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
The first and most common symptom is a rash that spreads out from the site of the tick bite.
Left untreated, the germs can spread to other areas of the body. In some cases this can cause serious symptoms, often months after the initial tick bite. Delayed symptoms may include neurological or heart-related problems.
Not everyone with Lyme disease gets the rash. Some people also have flu-like symptoms in the early stages, such as a high temperature, feeling hot, shivery headaches, muscle and joint pain, tiredness and a loss of energy.
Don’t Miss: Who Do You See For Lyme Disease
What If A Tick Bites My Dog
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.
John Aucott, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine director, Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: âVital Signs: Trends in Reported Vectorborne Disease Cases — United States and Territories, 2004-2016.â
American College of Rheumatology.