If you spend time outside, especially in a grassy location or have pets, be cautious of ticks. Although the bug is tiny, it might induce significant health problems including lyme disease – a condition that affects approximately 476,000 people in the United States and can produce a rash, joint ache, and neurological disorders. Read on to learn everything you need to know about lyme disease.
1 — What is Lyme Disease
“Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that affects people,” explains Dr. Andres Romero, MD, an infectious disease expert from Santa Monica, CA. “It’s a tick-borne illness which means a human host catches the infection from a tick bite. It’s limited to specific regions, particularly in New England and the mid-Atlantic states, but cases have been reported in various locations. The tick must be attached to the body for 24 hours or more in order to spread the infection.” The summer months, as expected, are when people are more likely to get an infection. As a result, you should inspect all regions of your body for ticks after any outdoor activities to guarantee none is attached if you live in a high tick-infection rate area.
2 — What Lyme Disease Feels Like
Dr. Romero explains, “Typically, the initial symptom is a rash at the bite site that appears seven to fourteen days after exposure. Other common symptoms include tiredness, lack of appetite, joint pains and headaches. Fever has also been reported by some individuals. Other more serious symptoms tend to appear several weeks or even several months later if the condition is overlooked, including neurological problems such as heart blockage, facial paralysis and meningitis. It’s also possible that it will affect the eyes but is less common.”
3 — Treatment for Lyme Disease
“Doxycycline is the medicine of choice,” says Dr. Romero, and the goal of therapy is to identify early any infections so that antibiotics are started as soon as possible (before late complications have a chance to develop), therefore it’s critical to think about this infection in high-risk areas throughout the country following a potential exposure such as any outdoor activity that may bring ticks into contact. Physicians unfamiliar with the infection may have a hard time detecting it, therefore consulting an infectious disease specialist is advised. In fact, experts have said in numerous studies that persistent infection cannot be confirmed, and treatment duration ranges from 7 to 21 days depending on clinical appearance. Physicians unfamiliar with the illness may prescribe longer courses of antibiotics rather than conducting a more comprehensive investigation for alternative reasons for chronic tiredness or joint pains, which are frequent symptoms associated with the so-called chronic Lyme disease.