Prevention And Treatment For Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by bacteria of the Borrelia type which is spread by black legged ticks. This disease is non- contagious i.e., it doesn’t spread from person to person.

How Lyme disease spreads?

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected ticks of the Ixodes genus. Usually, Borrelia bacteria takes approx. 36-48 hours to spread after getting attached to the human body. The most common causes of Lyme disease in North America are Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii. Moreover, most of the Lyme disease cases are found in the month of May, June, July, and August.

Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease

  • The most common sign of infection is an expanding area of redness on the skin. It is known as erythema migrans and it develops at the place of tick bite within a time period of one week.
  • 8 out of 10 people with Lyme disease will get a rash at the place of tick bite. The rash is typically neither itchy nor painful.
  • Early symptoms of Lyme disease are fever, headache, tiredness, stiffness, joint pain, and muscle aches. An individual left untreated might experience severe symptoms such as loss of the ability to move one or both sides of the face, joint pains, and severe headaches with neck stiffness, and heart palpitations.
  • Lyme disease can also affect the heart or nervous system.

Tips to prevent Lyme disease

Take these preventive measures if you’re visiting or staying in a place where ticks are likely to be:

  • Wear a long-sleeved shirt tucked into your pants that are tucked into socks or boots. Choose light-colored clothing so ticks can be spotted easily.
  • Apply an insect repellent that contains DEET or picaridin to your clothes and exposed skin.
  • You can apply permethrin to kill ticks attached to your clothes. Make sure not to apply permethrin directly on your skin.
  • Once you come inside, take a shower within two hours. Put your clothes in a hot dryer for one hour to kill any ticks that you may have picked up.
  • Check your skin for ticks each day. Lyme disease isn’t likely to develop if a tick is removed within 24 hours, and possibly up to 36 hours, after it attaches.
  • You can use tweezers to remove ticks attached to your body. Take doxycycline to prevent development of infection if the removed tick was full of blood.
  • Make sure to clean the area with an antiseptic. Do not use petroleum jelly, a hot match, or nail polish to remove a tick.
  • You can take medications such as , , and cefuroxime in case infection develops.

How to remove ticks?

  • You can use tweezers to remove ticks attached to your body. Take doxycycline to prevent development of infection if the removed tick was full of blood.
  • Make sure to clean the area with an antiseptic. Do not use petroleum jelly, a hot match, or nail polish to remove a tick.
  • You can take medications such as , , and cefuroxime in case infection develops.
  • Treatment is usually for two or three weeks.

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