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Lyme Disease – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

FACTS ABOUT LYME DISEASE

– Lyme disease is a bacterial infection.
– Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.
– Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in North America and Europe.
– Lyme disease is spread by these ticks when they bite the skin, which permits the bacterium to infect the body.
– Lyme disease is not contagious.
– Lyme disease is often associated with heavily wooded or grassy areas where mice and deer live.

SYMPTOMS OF LYME DISEASE

Lyme disease affects different areas of the body in varying degrees as it progresses. It can affect nervous system, joints, skin, and heart. The early symptoms include:
– circular rash after 1-2 weeks of infection which looks like a bull’s eye. It can also appear as an expanding ring of solid redness. It may be warm to the touch and usually is not painful or itchy.
– fever.
– headache.
– swollen lymph nodes.
– fatigue.
– headache.
– muscle aches.
– affects the heart, leading to an irregular heart rhythm or chest pain.
– can affect nervous system, causing facial paralysis, or tingling and numbness in the arms and legs.
The last stage of Lyme disease occurs if the symptoms of early stages are left un-treated. Symptoms may include arthritis, particularly in the knees, and memory lapses, trouble concentrating, changes in mood, changes in sleep habits, muscle weakness.

PREVENTION OF LYME DISEASE

– Protect yourself from tick bites.
– Avoid heavily wooded areas.
– Wear light colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
– Apply tick repellent.
– If you find a tick, remove it with tweezers, making sure to remove the head as well as the body.

DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT OF LYME DISEASE

– Physical examination and medical history.
– Laboratory tests like Enzyme -linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), Western Blot – this test is more sensitive that ELISA and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) help to confirm the disease.
– Oral administration of antibiotics is used for the treatment of lyme disease. This is effective in treating the infection, although the symptoms may persist for a while. This mode of treatment may cause certain side effects, such as, gallstones, diarrhea and low WBC count.

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