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Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease

A tick-borne illness caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. The chances you get Lyme disease from a tick bite depend on the kind of tick, where you were and when the bite occurred. More likely to get Lyme disease if you live or spend time in grassy and woody areas. Ticks must be attached to you for 36 to 48 hours to transmit Lyme disease. One of the first symptoms of almost eighty percent of Lyme infections, is a rash, 20 to 30% of those rashes have a “bull’s eye” or “Target logo” appearance, but most are two inches across a uniformed red circle. The rash may feel warm to the touch, rarely itching or painful. And 30% of infections are not accompanied by a rash. Depending on their stage of life, ticks come in three sizes, Larvae are sized to a grain of sand, nymphs are the size of poppy seeds and lastly, adults are the size of an apple seed.

There are three stages to Lyme disease.

1. Early localized Lyme: flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, sore throat.

2. Early disseminated Lyme: flu-like symptoms that also include pain, numbness in arms/ legs, vision changes and chest pain.

3. Late disseminated Lyme (this can occur weeks/ months/ years after the tick, bite): arthritis, mental confusion, sleep disturbances, vertigo, severe headaches, and fatigue.

Up to 90% of cases, an antibiotic cures the infection.