Lyme disease or what is also referred to as Lyme Borreliosis sensu lato, is an infection caused by a tick bite that infiltrates the system with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. This is a communicable disease whose vector is ticks and the bacteria they carry inhabits their stomach until a tick bites off into human skin and the bacteria penetrates into the system. It was only discovered in 1975 and was named after Lyme, Connecticut, the place where a number of similar cases of rheumatoid arthritis in children prompted to the discovery of Lyme disease. This disease is a concern for the CDC or Center for disease control and prevention as deer ticks are the carriers of the deadly bacteria and has a biosafety level of 2.
The main Lyme disease symptoms that appear early are fever, fatigue, headache, depression and its pathognomonic or characteristic sign erythema migrans which is a circular rash that is very distinctive of the tick bite. If it is not detected early and left untreated, more serious symptoms appear like those that affect joints, heart and the central nervous system. While it can be easily treated with antibiotics, as it is detected early, some may lead to potentially fatal complications which are disabling and may be difficult to treat. There is a variety of symptoms of Lyme Disease that may appear as the bacteria affect all parts of the body. If treatment is delayed, some of the severe symptoms may be permanent such as paraplegia or paralysis. The appearance of symptoms and the history of exposure to the surroundings where the patient has been and serological blood tests confirm the diagnosis of Lyme disease.
Lyme disease symptoms are indeed alarming in its very late stage, but with early detection, it can be treated with the appropriate first line antibiotics, which may lead to a good prognosis. While people afflicted with the Lyme disease can not transmit the disease to other people, the most likely concern is the elimination of deer ticks in the area should be the priority. There is no evidence that the bacteria, although seen present in bodily fluids, is transmissible through sexual contact or placental transmission and other means. Pregnant women carrying the disease impose a huge health threat to the growing fetus. Treatment is sensitive as the first line antibiotic which is Doxycycline is teratogenic in nature or is harmful to the fetus. Instead, erythromycin is delivered to the patient as it is rendered harmful though less effective.
It is very important to recognize early symptoms of the disease and to seek immediate medical consult for persisting symptoms or if the distinguishable characteristic of Lyme disease is evident. The bulls eye appearance of the rash is indicative of the present of bacteria in the body and should not be ignored. There should be proper dissemination of information regarding the danger of deer tick bites in areas which are susceptible to the proliferation of ticks and other insect carrying diseases. When going outdoors, it is also a must to put on protective clothing that will significantly decrease the likelihood of a deer tick bite.
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