You are more likely to get Lyme disease if you live or spend time in grassy areas and dense forests where ticks carrying Lyme disease thrive. It is important to take good precautions in areas where ticks are common.
Symptoms of Lyme disease
Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease vary. They usually appear in stages, but the stages can overlap.
Early signs and symptoms
Often a small red bump, similar to a mosquito bite, appears at the site of the tick bite or tick removal and decomposes over a few days. This is normal and does not indicate Lyme disease.
However, these signs and symptoms can occur within a month after you become infected:
- Skin rash. Three to 30 days after the affected tick bite, an extended red area may appear that appears occasionally in the middle, the rash expands slowly over days and can spread to 12 inches (30 cm), usually itchy or painful but it may feel warm Upon touch.
- Migratory rash is one of the distinguishing features of Lyme disease, although not everyone with Lyme disease develops a rash, some people develop this rash in more than one place on their bodies.
- Other symptoms. It can be accompanied by rashes, chills, fatigue, body pain, headache, stiff neck and swollen lymph nodes.
Signs and symptoms later
If not treated, new signs and symptoms of Lyme infection may appear in the following weeks or months, and these include:
- Migratory rash. The rash may appear in other areas of the body.
- Joint pain. Pains and severe swelling in the joints are particularly likely to affect your knees, but the pain can spread from one joint to another.
- Neurological problems. Weeks, months, or even years after the injury, you may have inflammation in the membranes surrounding the brain (meningitis), temporary paralysis on one side of your face (Bell’s palsy), numbness or weakness in your limbs and poor muscle movement.
Less common signs and symptoms
After several weeks of infection, it appears in some people:
- Heart problems, such as arrhythmias
- Eye infection
- Lever Inflammation
- Extreme fatigue
When you see a doctor
- If you get bitten by a tick and have symptoms
- A few tick bites lead to Lyme disease, the longer the tick stays on your skin, the greater the risk that you will develop the disease. It is unlikely that a Lyme infection will occur if the tick has been marked for less than 36 to 48 hours.
- If you think you have been bitten and have signs and symptoms of Lyme disease – especially if you live in an area where Lyme disease is common – contact your doctor, treatment of Lyme disease is more effective if it starts early.
- See your doctor even if symptoms disappear
- Consult your doctor even if signs and symptoms disappear – no symptoms do not mean that the disease has been treated and ended, without treatment. Lyme disease can spread to other parts of the body for several months to years after infection, causing arthritis and nervous system problems. The tick also transmits other diseases such as Babylonian disease and Colorado fever.
Causes of Lyme disease
In the United States, Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii, which are mainly made by black-legged ticks, small brown ticks are often not larger than poppy seeds, making them almost impossible.
To get Lyme disease, the infected tick should bite you, and bacteria enter your skin through the bite and then make their way into the bloodstream.
In most cases, to transmit Lyme disease, the tick mark should be suspended for 36 to 48 hours. If you find an attached sign that appears to be swollen, it may feed long enough to transmit bacteria. Removing the tick as soon as possible may prevent infection.
Lyme disease risk factors
Where you live or on vacation can affect your chances of getting Lyme disease, so your profession and outdoor activities that you enjoy can include the most common risk factors for Lyme disease include:
- Spend time in grassy areas. Ticks are found mostly in heavily wooded areas in the northeast and mid-west, children who spend a lot of time outdoors in these areas are particularly vulnerable, and adults with outdoor occupations are also at increased risk.
- After exposure to the skin. The tick easily attaches to the bare meat, if you are in an area that has ticks, protect yourself and your children by wearing long sleeves and long pants, do not allow your pets to wander through tall grasses and weeds.
- Not removing ticks quickly or properly, bacteria from a tick bite can enter the bloodstream if the tick stays attached to your skin for 36 to 48 hours or more, if you remove a sign within two days, the risk of developing Lyme disease is low.
Complications of Lyme disease
Untreated Lyme disease can cause:
- Chronic arthritis (Lyme arthritis), especially in the knee
- Neurological symptoms, such as facial paralysis and neuropathy
- Cognitive defects, such as poor memory
Prevention of Lyme disease
The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid areas where ticks live, especially dense areas with tall grass. You can reduce the risk of Lyme disease through some simple precautions:
- Cover the skin and skin. When in the grassy areas, wear pointed shoes and long pants in your socks, long-sleeved shirt, hat, and gloves, try to stick to the tracks and avoid walking through low bushes and tall grass.
- Use an insect repellent. Apply an insect repellant at a concentration of 20 percent or higher on your skin. Parents should apply a repellent to their children, avoiding their hands, eyes, and mouth.
- Keep in mind that chemical repellents can be toxic, so follow the directions carefully. Apply products with permethrin to clothing or purchase treated clothing.
- Do your best to prove your home yard. Clear brush and leaves where the tick lives, mow the lawn regularly. Accurately pile wood in dry, sunny areas to bend rodents that carry ticks.
- Check your clothes for your kids and pets for ticks, be careful especially after spending time in grassy areas, deer ticks are often not larger than a pinhead, so you may not discover them unless you carefully research them.
- It is useful to shower upon arrival at home. Often ticks stay on your skin for hours before installing themselves, bathing and using a towel may remove offline tick marks.
- Do not assume that you are immune. You can get Lyme disease more than once.
- Removing a mark as soon as possible with tweezers, gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth, do not squeeze or crush the tick but pull carefully and steadily, as soon as the tick is completely removed, dispose of it by placing it in alcohol or rinsing it in the toilet, and applying an antiseptic to the biting area.
Diagnosed with Lyme disease
- There are often many signs and symptoms of Lyme disease in other cases, so diagnosis can be difficult. What’s more, ticks that transmit Lyme disease can spread other diseases.
- If you do not have a distinctive Lyme rash, your doctor may ask about your medical history, including whether you are outdoors in the summer when Lyme disease is common, and a physical examination.
- Laboratory tests to determine antibacterial antibodies can help confirm or rule out a diagnosis. These tests can be relied upon a few weeks after infection, after the body has time to develop antibodies. They include:
- Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The test is often used to detect Lyme disease, and ELISA detects the antibodies to B. burgdorferi. However, since it may sometimes lead to false-positive results, it is not used as the sole basis for diagnosis.
- This test may not be positive during the early stage of Lyme disease, but the rash is distinct enough to make a diagnosis without further testing in people who live in tick-infested areas that transmit Lyme disease.
- If the ELISA test is positive, this test is usually performed to confirm the diagnosis. In this two-step approach, western blot discovers the antibodies of many B. burgdorferi proteins.