How Should Lyme Disease In Pregnancy Be Managed
While there have been reports of Lyme disease in pregnant women and sporadic case reports of transplacental transmission of B burgdorferi, there is not a clear link between fetal infections and adverse outcomes . Clinical, serological and epidemiological studies of Borrelia infection in pregnancy have failed to demonstrate an association between infection and adverse outcomes . Because doxycycline is contraindicated in pregnancy, treatment and prophylactic options are different than in the non-pregnant adult.
Some data suggest that a 10 day course of ampicillin may be an effective prophylactic strategy, although the risk of a rash developing in reaction to the beta lactam is greater than the risk of Lyme disease, and therefore the Infectious Diseases Society of America guideline does not recommend prophylaxis in the setting of pregnancy . If an Ixodes tick bites a pregnant woman, she should be monitored for 30 days for signs and symptoms of Lyme disease and treated with amoxicillin or cefuroxime if it develops .
Early Detection Is Key
Lyme disease is easiest to treat at the early or acute stage, within the first 30 days of exposure. This is why its so important to take precautions to prevent tick bites, both during and outside of tick season. Protect yourself when near potential tick habitats, always perform tick checks after outdoor activity , and dont delay seeking medical attention if you notice any symptoms that might be related to tick-borne illness. Its important to get tested as soon as possible for the best chances of recovery.
Later Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
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.
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Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
People with Lyme disease may react to it differently. Symptoms can vary in severity.
Although Lyme disease is commonly divided into three stages early localized, early disseminated, and late disseminated symptoms can overlap. Some people will also present in a later stage of disease without having symptoms of earlier disease.
These are some of the more common symptoms of Lyme disease:
- a flat, circular rash that looks like a red oval or bulls-eye anywhere on your body
These symptoms may occur soon after the infection, or months or years later.
You may also notice some psychological symptoms in your child. According to a , some parents reported the following psychological issues in their child with Lyme disease:
- anger or aggression
If your child seems to be acting differently and cant explain why or what theyre feeling, its important to talk with their doctor, as these changes could be a sign of many conditions, including Lyme disease.
Lyme Disease: Signs And Symptoms
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What Causes Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria. In the United States, this is usually a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. It spreads to humans through the bite of an infected tick. The ticks that spread it are blacklegged ticks . They are usually found in the:
- Pacific coast, especially northern California
These ticks can attach to any part your body. But they are often found in hard-to-see areas such as your groin, armpits, and scalp. Usually the tick must be attached to you for 36 to 48 hours or more to spread the bacterium to you.
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:
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Early Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Symptoms of Lyme disease in humans can be vague, and chances are you have no idea youve been bitten by an infected tick until symptoms surface.
Ticks secrete an anesthetic that makes their bites painless, explains Christine Green, MD, a family physician in Mountain View, California, and a member of the Bay Area Lyme Foundations scientific advisory board. Plus, theyre tiny. A young, immature tick, called a nymphthe stage of development during which these bloodsuckers are most likely to transmit Lyme diseaseis roughly the size of a pinhead when it latches on, so you dont know its there, she tells Health.
According to the CDC, the incubation period for Lymein other words, the time between a persons exposure to Borrelia bacteria and symptom onsetranges from three to 30 days. The main symptoms of Lyme disease in the early days and weeks after infection can include:
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Unexplained Pain And Other Sensations
Some people with Lyme may have sharp rib and chest pains that send them to the emergency room, suspecting a heart problem 00090-7/abstract%20″ rel=”nofollow”> 27).
When no problem is found, after the usual testing, the ER diagnosis is noted as an unidentified musculoskeletal cause.
You can also have strange sensations like skin tingling or crawling, or numbness or itchiness 00090-7/abstract%20″ rel=”nofollow”> 27).
Other symptoms have to do with cranial nerves.
- Ear-ringing . Tinnitus can be a nuisance, especially at bedtime when it seems to get louder as youre trying to fall asleep. About 10 percent of people with Lyme experience this (
- Hearing loss. One study reported that 15 percent of Lyme patients experienced loss of hearing .
- Jaw pain or toothaches that are not related to actual tooth decay or infection.
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When Symptoms Persist
Some people experience Lyme disease symptoms for a long time. Just as COVID-19 patients with persistent symptoms are called long haulers, Lyme disease can also be a long-haul illness. There are many paths to long-haul Lyme. Someone might have gone undiagnosed and untreated for months or years while their illness progressed. Or, they may have been diagnosed and treated right away, but still experience ongoing symptoms.
Characteristics and outcome of facial nerve palsy from Lyme neuroborreliosis in the United States. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, January 2022.
How To Remove Ticks
Tick bites arent always painful. You may not notice a tick unless you see it on your skin. Check your skin and your childrens or pets skin after being outdoors.
To remove a tick:
The risk of getting ill is low. You dont need to do anything else unless you become unwell.
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What Is Neurologic Lyme Disease
Neurologic symptoms of Lyme disease occur when the Lyme disease bacteria affect the peripheral or central nervous systems.
- Cranial nerve involvement: When the cranial nerves are affected, facial palsy can occur on one or both sides of the face.
- Peripheral nerve involvement: When the peripheral nerves are affected, patients can develop radiculoneuropathy which can cause numbness, tingling, shooting pain, or weakness in the arms or legs.
- Central nervous system involvement: When the central nervous system is affected, Lyme meningitis can cause fever, headache, sensitivity to light, and stiff neck.
Out of every 100 patients whose cases are reported to CDC, 9 have facial palsy, 4 have radiculopathy, and 3 have meningitis or encephalitis. Because of reporting practices, this statistic may overestimate how often these manifestations are seen by clinicians.
What Are The First Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
In the first early localized stage of Lyme disease the skin at the site of the tick bite becomes infected with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria which can cause an expanding round or oval red skin lesion called erythema migrans. This may or may not be associated with flu-like symptoms within days to a month after the tick bite such as achiness, chills, fever, sweats, fatigue, malaise, headache, stiff neck, muscle soreness, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and sore throat. The combination of the skin lesion and flu-like symptoms are the primary manifestations of acute stage Lyme disease. Acute Lyme disease is not associated with typical cold-like symptoms of runny nose, prominent cough, or prominent diarrhea.
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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.
Is Lyme Disease Genetic
Lyme disease is a state that is produced by a precise bacterium that is referred to as Borrelia Burgdorferi. Humans can acquire this disease if they receive a nip from a tick that is considered to be black legged. This particular illness was discovered in the year of 1975. For nearly four decades, medical professionals and scientists alike have studied Lyme disease in order to find out solid information that could be relayed to the general public.
This medical state can be treated in a successful manner if treated in a timely fashion, but left untreated it can cause many health problems. It has been discovered that the infection established by this specific disease can extend to the organs of the body, the joints of the body, and even the nervous system. In this general guide, you will learn the basics surrounding Lyme disease.
Numerous individuals that suffer from Lyme disease will find that they develop a fever. The fever may be mild but it may be severe depending on the severity of the infection in the body. The fever may or may not be accompanied by body chills and/or hot flashes. Lots of people often complain of pain throughout the body in the area of the joints as well as the muscles.
Headaches of varying degrees of acuteness are frequently experienced by patients that contract Lyme disease. As the infection progresses, it is not uncommon for sufferers to detect that numerous lymph nodes are swollen in the body.
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When To See Your Gp
After being aware of your symptoms of Lyme disease or feeling a happened bite, you should know it is time to see your GP. However, you have to let him know if you have been in woodland or some areas in which ticks live so that he can give you the most effective treatments as well as the appreciate advice.
In fact, the diagnosis of Lyme disease is quite difficult because some of its symptoms are similar to other illnesses. If you have a rash after some days of a tick bite, you can treat it with appropriate antibiotics while not waiting for a blood test result.
However, blood tests should be carried out to find out the exact diagnosis of Lyme disease after a few weeks. These tests cannot be exact in the early stage of infection and the second test should be done if you also suspect an existing Lyme disease. For example, GP in the United Kingdom uses both of the blood tests to ensure the diagnosis of Lyme disease is accurate as a single test can sometimes give a positive result though a person does not have the infection.
Finally, if you have long-lasting or post-infectious Lyme disease symptoms, you should see a specialist in infectious or microbiology diseases so that they can send your blood sample to the national laboratory where further tests are carried out.
What Happens At Your Appointment
The GP will ask about your symptoms and consider any rash or recent tick bites you know about.
Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose. It has similar symptoms to other conditions and there’s not always an obvious rash.
2 types of blood test are available to help confirm or rule out Lyme disease. But these tests are not always accurate in the early stages of the disease.
You may need to be retested if you still have Lyme disease symptoms after a negative result.
Where Are Ticks Found
Ticks are found throughout the UK and in other parts of Europe and North America. There are a high number of ticks in the Scottish Highlands.
They can be found in any areas with deep or overgrown plants where they have access to animals to feed on.
They’re common in woodland and moorland areas, but can also be found in gardens or parks.
Is Lyme Disease Contagious
People cant catch Lyme disease from other people. Theres no evidence that kissing, touching, or having sex with someone who has Lyme disease puts you at risk of acquiring the illness, and there are no reports of transmission through breast milk or donated blood. However, the bacteria that cause Lyme disease can live in blood, so people currently being treated for the disease should not donate blood.
People cannot acquire Lyme disease from their dogs, either, although cuddling with your furry friend could expose you to ticks that landed on your pet.
Lyme disease is carried by infected ticks, specifically two species of blacklegged ticks. If you live in or visit an area of the country where these infected ticks are prevalent, its important to take measures to reduce your risk of getting bitten, especially in the spring and summer months.
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What Should I Do If I Am Bitten By A Tick
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 the skin.
- Avoid crushing the ticks body or handling the tick with bare fingers as you could exposure 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 ticks body with your fingers or tweezers.
Lyme Disease Rashes And Look
Circular, expanding rash with target-like appearance.
Expanding rash with central crust
Expanding lesion with central crust on chest.
Expanding erythema migrans
Photo Credit: Reprinted from Bhate C, Schwartz RA. Lyme disease: Part I. Advances and perspectivesexternal icon. J Am Acad Dermatol 2011 64:619-36, with permission from Elsevier.
Description:Early, expanding erythema migrans with nodule.
Multiple rashes, disseminated infection
Early disseminated Lyme disease multiple lesions with dusky centers.
Red, oval plaque
Red, expanding oval-shaped plaque on trunk.
Expanding rash with central clearing
Circular, expanding rash with central clearing.
Bluish hued rash, no central clearing
Bluish hued without central clearing.
Expanding lesion, no central clearing
Expanding lesion without central clearing on back of knee.
Red-blue lesion with central clearing
Red-blue lesion with some central clearing on back of knee.
Insect bite hyper-sensitivity
Large itchy rash caused by an allergic reaction to an insect bite.
Fixed drug reaction
Description:A skin condition that occurs up to two weeks after a person takes a medication. The skin condition reappears at the same location every time a person takes that particular medication.
Description:Ringworm is a common skin infection that is caused by a fungus. Its called ringworm because it can cause a ring-shaped rash that is usually red and itchy with raised edges.
Pityriasis rosea rash
Granuloma annulare rash
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