Lyme Disease: Symptoms And Stages
Symptoms of early-stage Lyme disease include:
- muscle and joint aches
- swollen lymph nodes
Another common symptom of Lyme disease is a rash . As many as 80% of infected people may develop a rash, and roughly 20% of the time the rash has a characteristic bull’s-eye appearance.
When left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.
Later-stage symptoms may not appear until weeks or months after a tick bite occurs. They include:
- heart-rhythm irregularities
- nervous system abnormalities
Permanent damage to the joints or the nervous system can develop in patients with late Lyme disease. It is rarely, if ever, fatal.
Preventing Tick Bites And Lyme Disease
There’s currently no Lyme disease vaccine available for humans. However, there are clinical trials taking place in Europe and the U.S.
The best way to protect yourself from tick-borne diseases is to prevent tick bites. Check your provincial public health authority to find out where infected ticks are most likely to be found.
- Wear light coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants to spot ticks easily.
- Tuck your shirt into your pants, and your pants into your socks.
- Wear closed-toe shoes.
- Apply insect repellent containing DEET or Icaridin to clothing and exposed skin .
- Wear permethrin-treated clothing .
- Walk on cleared paths or trails.
- Keep children and pets from wandering off paths.
- Avoid using trails created by animals , as ticks are often found on the grass and plants along these trails.
Do a check for ticks on yourself and your:
- Outdoor gear, such as backpacks
- Shower or bathe as soon as possible, as it can help you find unattached ticks. If you don’t shower or bathe, do a full-body tick check on yourself and your children.
- If you find an attached tick, remove it as soon as possible.
- To kill unattached ticks on your clothing, put dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes. If your clothes are damp, you may need to dry them for longer.
- If you wash your clothes, use hot water and dry on high heat. Ticks can survive a cold/warm wash cycle.
Can Wood Ticks Carry Diseases
Diseases Transmitted by the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Colorado Tick Fever, and Tularemia. The saliva from these ticks contains a neurotoxin that can sometimes cause tick paralysis in both humans and pets however, the paralysis usually dissipates within 24 to 72 hours after tick removal.
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Tick Identification: A Guide To Common Types
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This guide will help you identify different kinds of ticks.
Content Provider : CDC/ Michael L. Levin, Ph. D. Photo Credit : Jim Gathany, Public domain, via W
Not all ticks carry the much-feared Lyme disease pathogen. This guide will help you tell one tick from another, which isnt always easy, since they are very small and tend to look alike.
A black-legged tick, also known as a deer tick. This species can carry Lyme disease.
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How Ticks Find Their Hosts
Ticks cant 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.
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What Do You Do If An American Dog Tick Bites You
Immediately wash any clothes worn outside. If you have a bite from an American dog tick, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp it as close to the skins surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Dont twist or jerk the tick as this can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin.
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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.
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What Tests Are Available For Lyme Disease
When a person becomes infected, the body creates antibodies to protect itself from the bacteria. Certain blood tests are available to measure these antibodies. However, sometimes a “false negative” test can result if there are not enough antibodies in the blood for the tests to detect accurately. A doctor should also do a complete medical examination and gather information about your recent outdoor activities in order to make a clinical diagnosis for Lyme disease.
Ticks And Lyme Disease
When compared to other parts of North America, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador has a small number of ticks living within its boundaries. Since the first discovery of the bacteria causing Lyme Disease in a black-legged tick found in Cape Broyle in June 2001, we have been trying to understand more about:
- the different species of tick that live here permanently
- what types of tick commonly enter with pets or on migratory birds
- what disease-causing organisms they carry
On this site, up-to-date information will be maintained on the status of Ixodes spp. ticks in particular and their Lyme Disease status. Background information and summaries can be found in the two factsheets: the Ticks of Newfoundland and Labrador and Lyme Disease in Newfoundland .
Further information is available on:
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Can Any Tick Bite Give Me Lyme Disease
No, not all ticks can transmit Lyme disease. In this area, only Ixodes scapularis ticks, also called deer ticks, can spread Lyme disease, and only if the tick is infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Even after a bite from an infected tick, it must be attached long enough usually more than 36 hours to spread the infection to a person.
What Ticks Carry Lyme Disease
- Black-legged ticks, also called deer ticks or Ixodes scapularis are the ticks primarily responsible for infecting humans with the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease.1
- There are several other types of ticks such as the American dog tick , the Lone Star tick, and others that dont cause Lyme Disease but can can transmit harmful bacteria which can lead to other types of infections
- Most cases of Lyme disease occur in the upper midwest and the northeastern portion of the U.S. but cases are rising everywhere.2
- Lyme disease is often caused by tiny tick nymphs that often go undetected and remain attached long enough to transmit the Lyme disease bacteria.3
- The transfer of bacteria from ticks to humans, is what causes Lyme disease
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How Is Lyme Disease Spread
People can become infected if they are bitten by a black-legged tick that is carrying Borrelia burgdorferi these ticks usually need to remain attached to a person for at least 36 hours to transmit the bacteria. These ticks live in forested or brushy areas and perch on tips of grasses or shrubs, then climb onto people or animals that brush by. They then crawl until they find a suitable place to bite. Ticks can bite any skin on the human body, but are often found in hard-to-see areas, such as the groin, armpits, or scalp.
Black-legged ticks pick up the bacteria after feeding on infected rodents. On the Pacific Coast, the western black-legged tick spreads Lyme disease. Both the western black-legged tick and the black-legged tick responsible for spreading Lyme disease in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central United States , are also called deer ticks.
There is no evidence that Lyme disease can be passed from one person to another through touching, kissing, or sex. While dogs and cats can also get Lyme disease, there is no evidence that they can spread the disease directly to their owners. However, pets can transport infected ticks that then attach onto humans.
What You Need To Know About Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infection caused by the spiral-shaped bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is most commonly transmitted by a tick bite.
There are over 300,000 estimated new cases of Lyme disease in the United States each year.
The symptoms of Lyme disease depend on the how long the infection has been present in the body. The first sign of Lyme disease is often an expanding round or oval red “bullseye” rash.
If left untreated, people may develop neurological symptoms and heart problems, and have an approximately 60 percent chance of developing Lyme arthritis.
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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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What Does A Regular Tick Look Like
Although ticks are small around 1/8 of an inch in length they are still visible to the naked eye. The tick that is most commonly found latching onto humans, called a deer tick or blacklegged tick, is about the size of a sesame seed in adulthood. It has a reddish body with a solid black dorsal shield over its back. It has long, thin mouthparts. The Western blacklegged tick is very similar to the deer tick in appearance except its body shape is more oval. Although deer ticks can be found across North America, Western blacklegged ticks are only found on the west coast of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Other common ticks include the Lone Star tick, the Brown Dog tick, and the American Dog tick. The Lone Star tick is medium in size, a little bigger than Western blacklegged and deer ticks, and has a rounded body. It is reddish-brown in color and has similar long, thin mouthparts. Something that makes this type of tick distinguishable is the white dot on its dorsal shield, although this dot can only be found on female ticks.
The Brown Dog tick has a small, elongated body that is also reddish-brown. Its mouthparts are different than the others, being hexagonal in shape. This type of tick does not have a decorated dorsal shield. The American Dog tick is the largest of all the commonly found ticks. It is brown with short and pointed mouthparts. Its dorsal shield has distinct white markings that make it easily identifiable.
Image by on
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Types Of Ticks And Which Are High Risk For Lyme Disease
Its ideal to be aware of the different types of ticks out there. Read further on for all the important details.
Ticks can be found around the world. They are categorized into two different families. Hard ticks have 700 species, and soft ticks have 200 species. A total of 900 species of ticks is frightening. Fortunately, only a few will bite and pass on diseases to humans.
Ticks have eight legs, placing them in the same group as spiders. Yes, ticks are arachnids. The main difference between spiders and ticks is that ticks feed only on blood from mammals, including wildlife, pets, rodents, birds, and humans.
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.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Only the blacklegged tick can transmit Lyme disease, and in most cases, a tick carrying the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease must attach and feed for at least 24 hours before the bacteria can be transmitted. Lyme disease is treatable with a short course of antibiotics.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease include:
How Can I Prevent Lyme Disease
While walking in green spaces, consider wearing clothing that covers your skin to make it more difficult for ticks to access a suitable place to bite.
Use insect repellent such as DEET and consider wearing light coloured clothing so that you can easily spot ticks and brush them off.
After spending time outside, check yourself, your clothing, your pets and others for ticks. Remove any attached tick as soon as you find it using a tick-removal tool or fine-tipped tweezers.
More information can be found on the NHS website.
The idea of being bitten by a tick can be daunting. It is important to know that with the right precautions and by being tick aware you can help to protect yourself and your family from tick bites.
Remember that advice and treatment is readily available through the NHS. So, if you think you have been bitten by a tick and have symptoms, contact your GP and accept the treatment that is offered to you.
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Types Of Ticks That Carry Lyme Disease
Medically reviewed by Neka Miller, PhD on August 11, 2020. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
Around the world, there are hundreds of tick speciesâbut what ticks carry Lyme disease? Letâs take a closer look at the specific types of ticks that carry Lyme disease, where and when theyâre found, how you can help prevent tick bites, and how to test for Lyme disease from home if you are bitten.
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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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.
What To Do If You Do Get Bitten
1. Dont panic. Its a hard rule to follow, Pritt admits, but remember that not every tick carries a harmful bacteria or virus.
2. Forget the folk remedies:Grab a pair of fine tipped tweezers, remove as quickly as possible as close to skin as you can by pulling it out in a smooth, continuous motion without twisting it, Pritt says. And dont light a match or roll it in butter, as in fact, those methods often result in only partial removal.
3. Save it: Put the tick in a plastic bag in the freezer, especially if you think it may have been attached a long time, which may increase the risk of Lyme disease transmission. That way if you decide to see a doctor, theyll be able to identify the type of tick that bit you, and even test it for disease-causing bacteria. Keep in mind, though, that you may not get infected even if the tick tests positive, Dempsey says.
4. Watch for symptoms: A rash, headache, flu-like symptoms and joint pain can all be signs of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis. A stiff neck and swollen lymph nodes are associated with Lyme disease.
IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS: Many people with Lyme disease dont remember getting a rash or a tick bite. So mention your concerns to your health care provider. Blood tests may be able to detect Lyme disease after your body has developed antibodies.
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