Home|Health|Symptoms and Prevention Tips for Lyme Disease
Symptoms and Prevention Tips for Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by the infection of bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. Borrelia burgdorferi is transmitted to humans by a bite from an infected black-legged or deer tick. Such ticks get infected after feeding on infected deer or mice. It is to be noted that a tick has to be present on the skin for 24 to 48 hours to transmit the infection. However, it has been observed that most people with Lyme disease have no memory of a tick bite. If you live in a grassy and heavily wooded area, your chances of getting infected with Lyme disease is higher.
1. Symptoms of Lyme disease
The symptoms of Lyme disease develop gradually in stages. However, in most of the cases, the stages may overlap.
2. Early signs and symptoms
Within three to 30 days of an infected tick bite, an expanding red area might appear on the skin. Such areas sometimes become clear in the center, forming a bulls-eye pattern. Over days, the rash expands gradually and can spread up to around 12 inches across. In Lyme disease, such a rash is not painful or itchy. The area will feel warm upon touching. In addition to rashes, the early symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, headache, neck stiffness, and swollen lymph nodes.
3. Advanced signs and symptoms
If the early symptoms of Lyme disease are left untreated, it will spread further in the following weeks. The advanced signs and symptoms of Lyme disease include:
These rashes are likely to appear on other areas of your body.
The patient will experience severe joint pain with swelling.
Non-treatment of Lyme disease may lead to various neurological problems including temporary paralysis.
4. Prevention of Lyme disease
The best Lyme disease prevention method is to avoid areas where deer ticks live such as bushy and wooded areas. Further, Lyme disease prevention can be obtained successfully with a few simple precautions.
Always cover up your body with hat, gloves, socks, and long-sleeved shirts when you are in bushy or woody areas. Try to stick to the trail to avoid contact with long grass and bushes. Keep your dog on a leash.
Use insect repellents
You can also apply an insect repellent with a 20 percent or higher concentration on your skin. However, keep in mind that chemical repellents can be toxic. Hence, follow the prescribed instructions carefully.
Try to make your yard tick-proof
Mow your lawn regularly. Cut leaves and bushes where ticks might live. You should also pile wood very neatly in dry and sunny areas. This will discourage rodents that carry ticks.
Double check your clothing and your pets for ticks. Be extraordinarily alert while spending time in the woods. Ensure to take a precautionary shower as soon as you come indoors. Showering and using a washcloth might remove unattached ticks.
Do not assume that you are immune
You can get Lyme disease more than once. Consult a doctor immediately if you notice any early symptoms of Lyme disease.