Ongoing Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
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.
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
Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
People aren’t able to become immune to Lyme disease. So even if you’ve had Lyme disease, you can get it again. No vaccine is available currently to prevent the disease.
The FDA approved a Lyme vaccine called LYMErix in 1998. The vaccine was not 100% effective, however. The FDA still recommended preventing the disease in other ways. In 2002, the company that made LYMErix said it would no longer offer the vaccine.
To help prevent Lyme disease, follow these guidelines.
Treatment For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is commonly treated with antibiotics, the most common being doxycycline. However, the specific antibiotic depends on many factors such as known allergies and interactions with other medications. All medications taken for any illness should be prescribed by a healthcare professional. While antibiotics like doxycycline may be easy to obtain online, exact dosages depend on the individual. Improper dosage of antibiotics can cause resistance, ineffectiveness, illness, or even death in some cases.
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Ticks That Can Transmit Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is spread through a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is carried by around 50% of adult female ticks and nymphs, and can be spread to a host roughly 36 to 48 hours after the tick has bitten the host and begun to feed.
In the United States, two species of ticks are known to carry Lyme disease:
- Deer tick
- Western blacklegged tick
Here in South Carolina , the deer tick, also known as the blacklegged tick — is capable of passing Lyme disease on to a host. On the west coast of the United States, the western blacklegged tick can carry and spread the disease.
If youre suffering from a tick bite, its important to remove the tick as quickly as possible. Heres a blog on how to remove a tick the right way.
How Can I Protect Myself From Lyme Disease
There is a risk of encountering ticks in PEI. The following measures should be taken to prevent being bitten by a tick:
- Cover up if there is a possibility of exposure to ticks in the area. Wear closed-toe shoes, long-sleeved shirts and pants with the legs tucked into socks. Wear light-coloured clothing.
- Insect repellents that contain DEET or Icaridin are recommended. Repellents can be applied to clothing as well as exposed skin.
- Daily full body checks for ticks should be performed. Ticks attach themselves to the skin so finding and removing them early prevents infection. Children and pets should be checked for ticks as well.
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How Ticks Find Their Hosts
Ticks can’t fly or jump. Instead, they wait for a host, resting on the tips of grasses and shrubs in a position known as “questing”. While questing, ticks hold onto leaves and grass by their lower legs. They hold their upper pair of legs outstretched, waiting to climb onto a passing host. When a host brushes the spot where a tick is waiting, it quickly climbs aboard. It then finds a suitable place to bite its host.
Who Gets Lyme Disease And At What Time Of Year
Lyme disease is transmitted via the bite of infected ticks, which attach to any part of the body, but often to moist or hairy areas such as the groin, armpits, and scalp.
While everyone is susceptible to tick bites, campers, hikers, and people who work in gardens and other leafy outdoor venues are at the greatest risk of tick bites. As many a suburban gardener can attest, with the expansion of the suburbs and a push to conserve wooded areas, deer and mice populations are thriving, too, providing ample blood meals for ticks. For lyme disease to be transmitted, a tick needs to feed on the host for 24-48 hours.
In the majority of cases, tick bites are reported in the summer months when ticks are most active and people spend more time outdoors. But this can extend into the warmer months of early autumn, too, or even late winter if temperatures are unusually high. Similarly, a mild winter can allow ticks, much like other insects, to thrive and emerge earlier than usual.
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How Long Does It Take The Tick To Transmit Lyme
Experts disagree about how long it takes a tick to transmit Lyme disease. The CDC says that in most cases, the tick must be attached more than 24 hours.
We think that gives people a false sense of security. In some research studies, 5-7% of nymphs transmitted the Lyme bacteria in less than 24 hours. One paper reported on a case of Lyme disease transmitted after six hours of tick attachment. The risk may be low the first day, but its not zero.
Furthermore, some studies show that only 30% of patients with Lyme disease recall a tick bite. If people dont even realize that they were bitten, how could they know how long the tick was attached?
The longer a tick stays on you, the more likely it will transmit disease. Its important to find and remove any tick as soon as possible.
What Is The Best Way To Remove A Tick
The best way to remove a tick is with fine tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull with firm, gentle pressure do not jerk or twist. It is important to avoid crushing or squeezing the tick while you are removing it. Do NOT use a match, nail polish, Vaseline, or kerosene to try and smother the tick these methods may cause the tick to actually inject its body fluids into the skin raising the possibility of disease transmission. After tick removal wash your hands and the area of the bite with soap and water.
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How To Prevent Picking Up A Tick Carrying Lyme Disease
Of course, the best tool to keep a tick from making us sick is by preventing them from attaching to us at all! Knowing where ticks live, how to repel them, and what to do if one is embedded in your dog, are all tools to protect you from all dangerous tick-related illnesses. In our article about how to get rid of ticks on your body and in your yard, we go into more detail. We also go over how to kill ticks on dogs, what ticks look like, and plenty of other ways to protect yourself and your pets in our other tick articles too!
Hire Tick Pest Control Company
A professional tick spraying company will treat all the areas where ticks live around your property. It is necessary to treat horizontal surfaces like your lawn but, more importantly, vertical surfaces such as ornamentals and high grass areas that act as tick breeding areas. Professional tick pest control companies will treat your property every three to four weeks to maintain tick population reduction.
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What Are The 3 Types Of Ticks That Can Carry Lyme Disease
The Ixodes tick, commonly known as the blacklegged tick, is a tick that carries Lyme disease. In the eastern and midwestern United States, the main species is Ixodes scapularis and the related western United States version is Ixodes pacificus . ).
Are all tick bites Lyme disease?
Only a minority of tick bites lead to Lyme disease. The longer the tick remains attached to your skin, the greater your risk of contracting the disease. Lyme infection is unlikely if the tick is attached for less than 36-48 hours.
Animal Hosts That Carry Lyme Disease
While ticks might be the vector for infecting humans with Lyme disease, the bacteria responsible for the infection doesnt actually originate in ticks.
Instead, ticks pick up the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria from other animal hosts, and then pass it on to humans later. While deer are one of the most common sources of the bacteria , both nymphs and adult ticks can be found feeding on the following animals:
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What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacterium is carried by certain ticks, and spreads to the host when the tick bites. The bacterium is normally found in small animals such as mice, squirrels, chipmunks, shrews, etc.
Lyme disease in humans can have a range of effects from rashes and flu-like symptoms to more serious symptoms including arthritic, cardiac and neurological effects. It can often be effectively treated, especially if detected in the early stages.
Lyme disease is an occupational concern for people who work outdoors. Any person who spends time outdoors is also at risk.
In the United States, Lyme disease is the most common “vector borne” disease. Vector is the term for any insect or arthropod that carries and transmits a disease pathogen .
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.
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How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose because symptoms are not consistent and may mimic other conditions. The primary symptom is a rash, but it may not be present in up to 20% of cases.
Diagnosis for Lyme disease must be made by a healthcare provider experienced in recognizing Lyme disease. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms and a history of a tick bite. Testing is generally done to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions. This may need blood and other lab tests.
Research is underway to develop and improve methods for diagnosing Lyme disease.
The symptoms of Lyme disease may look like other medical conditions or problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
About Ticks And Lyme Disease
Ticks are small crawling bugs in the spider family. They are arachnids, not insects. There are hundreds of different kinds of ticks in the world. Many of them carry bacteria, viruses or other pathogens that cause disease in humans and/or animals.
In the midwestern and eastern United States, Ixodes scapularis or deer tick is the primary vector of Lyme disease. On the West Coast, the spirochete is carried by Ixodes pacificus or western black-legged tick. In the South, lone star ticks can also transmit Lyme disease or a closely related illness.
Ticks have four life stages: egg, larva, nymph and adult. In each stage after hatching, they suck blood from animals like mice, squirrels, birds and deer. Then they drop off, enter a dormant period and molt to enter the next stage.
Ticks dont start out being infected with Lyme. They get it by feeding on an infected animal, often a mouse or other small rodent. Then, they pass it along to the next animal or person they bite.
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How To Safely Remove A Tick
Not all ticks carry Lyme disease, and some ticks carry other diseases. To avoid infecting yourself, never crush a tick with your fingers. For more information on the safe removal, disposal and identification of ticks visit CDC.gov/ticks.
How Does A Person Get Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected deer tick, which also is known as the black-legged tick. Immature deer ticks can be very small, about the size of the head of a pin adult deer ticks are slightly larger. Both can be infected with and transmit Lyme disease. Deer ticks acquire the bacteria by feeding primarily on small mammals infected with the bacteria, particularly the white-footed mouse. Deer ticks infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease have been found in Illinois. Areas in the United States where deer ticks are most frequently infected with Lyme disease are the northeastern United States , northern California, and north central states, especially Minnesota and Wisconsin. However, Lyme disease has been reported in almost all states in the United States as well as in many countries throughout the world.
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What To Do If Tick Bites You
Do All Ticks Carry Lyme Disease
The warm weather is here! Time for fresh air fun with hiking, camping and trips to the beach. But warmer weather also brings some things that are not so welcome: ticks and the germs they spread.
If you find a tick attached to you or to your child, what do you do? Do you need to worry about Lyme disease? Not always, says Aryeh Baer, M.D., a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Joseph M. Sanzari Childrens Hospital. And even if Lyme disease is a concern, theres no need to panic, says Dr. Baer. Like so many other infections, Lyme disease is perfectly treatable.
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What Should You Do If You Find A Tick
Don’t touch the tick with your bare hand.
Use a pair of tweezers to remove the tick. Grab the tick firmly by its mouth or head as close to your skin as possible.
Pull up slowly and steadily without twisting until it lets go. Don’t squeeze the tick, and don’t use petroleum jelly, solvents, knives, or a lit match to kill the tick.
Save the tick. Place it in a plastic container or bag so it can be tested for disease, if needed.
Wash the bite area well with soap and water and put an antiseptic lotion or cream on the site.
What Types Of Ticks Transmit Lyme Disease
In the northeast, Mid-Atlantic and north-central states, deer ticks or black-legged ticks are the only ticks known to transmit Lyme disease. On the Pacific coast, the ticks that transmit Lyme disease are the western black-legged tick . Dog ticks and other kinds of ticks are not known to cause Lyme disease.
The most visible sign of Lyme disease is the characteristic rash called erythema migrans or bulls eye. This rash usually develops within one month of the tick bite. It typically occurs at the site of the bite, starting as a red area and then expanding in size over days and weeks.
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There Are Many Different Types Of Ticks
There are over 850 species of ticks worldwide, and although nearly all of them feed on the blood of other animals, not all of them transmit Lyme disease. According to Hackensack Meridian Health, the main ticks that spread Lyme disease are called Ixodes ticks.
Two distinct species of ticks from the U.S. carry Lyme disease, and the most common of those is called Ixodes scapularis, aka the deer tick. Deer ticks primarily live in the northeast and northern parts of the midwest. They tend to spread Lyme disease more frequently than the other species, Ixodes pacificus or the western blacklegged tick, which is commonly found throughout the Pacific Northwest.
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