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Lyme Disease: Symptoms and Treatment

Lyme disease is a zoonotic disease, transmitted to humans when bitten by black legged ticks with the bacteria. This bacterium is known as Borellia Burgdorferi and in very rare cases Borellia Mayonii, another name for Lyme disease is Lyme Borreliosis.

The vector has to be present on the skin of a human being for at least 36 hours before the bacterium can be transmitted. The name Lyme Disease comes from the place where the disease was first discovered, Lyme county, in Connecticut USA in the year 1975. It is a very predominant vector borne disease in America and Europe.

People who own pets and visit the woods especially in areas known to harbor ticks, are more disposed to getting infected.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

The symptoms of Lyme disease vary from person to person depending on the severity of the disease. It also differs in adults and children.

Some of the symptoms of Lyme disease include;

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache

Erythema Migrans which is a type of skin rash

If left unattended to, it could spread to areas such as the nervous system, joints, and cardiovascular system resulting in conditions like;

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Joint pains
  • Sleeplessness
  • Muscle pain
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Some of these symptoms like the rash can be seen a few days after the bite while others can take up to a month or even a year before being expressed.

Lyme Disease Treatment

Antibiotics can be taken orally for about 10 – 14 days. Early localization is essential in Lyme disease treatment.

Some medicines used in Lyme disease treatment include;

  • Doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime; these are the first line of treatment in Lyme therapy in children as well as grown-ups.
  • Amoxicillin and cefuroxime is the combined treatment used for breastfeeding or pregnant women.

Lyme treatment is done intravenously in cases where the cardiovascular and/or nervous system have been affected. In such a case, Lyme therapy will involve intravenous administration of antibiotics.

Lyme disease is microaerophilic, meaning it survives in areas of low oxygen, an alternative route of therapy is the Lyme disease hyperbaric oxygen treatment. This involves fueling low oxygen regions with oxygen in order to inhibit the sustenance of Lyme disease by increasing blood flow.

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The Lyme disease hyperbaric oxygen treatment has in recent years become popular and can be more effective for those who do not respond to antibiotics.

Lyme Disease Diagnosis

Laboratory examinations are essential in the diagnosis of the disease for effective Lyme disease treatment. It begins with physical examination for signs like rashes then blood tests.

Examples of blood tests that can be done include;

ELISA – Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)

PCR – Polymerase Chain Reaction

Western Blot

These tests will work best few days after being infected due to the presence of antibodies in blood.

Is Lyme Disease Contagious

There is no proof to support the notion that Lyme disease is contagious, whether sexually or through pregnancy. Even though the micro-organism is transported through body fluids, it still isn’t transmitted through sneezing or coughing.

 

 

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