Bacterium that causes Lyme disease is Borrelia burgdorferi. It is commonly caused by the bite of ticks.
This bacterium enters through the Ixodes ticks when it bites an infected animal and then they are transmitted to the person. This further leads to Lyme disease.
In most situations, the Lyme disease is reported to be seen in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and Pacific coastal areas of the USA.
How Lyme Disease Can Be Identified?
It is illustrated that the symptoms of Lyme disease can be mostly seen in three stages (not in all cases).
In the first stage of Lyme disease, after one to two weeks of tick bite, a circular skin rash (erythema migrans) appears, but in some cases, it develops after thirty days of tick bite. This erythema migrans looks like a “bull’s eye” with red spot. This red spot is again surrounded by clear skin. Intensifying red rash surrounds the clear skin again.
In darker skin tone people, this rash cannot be seen, but a bruise like appearance can be seen. Commonly, this rash resolves on its own mostly in about 30 days.
This area of rash will be warm when it touches. It does not cause any itchy sensation, nor it is painful. There are some cases where people do not develop this rash at all.
During the second stage of Lyme disease, flu-like symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, etc are associated with Lyme disease.
Often times, the symptoms of this disease disappear even if left untreated, but in some individuals, this infection can be transferred to other parts of the body.
In some cases, these second stage symptoms usually develop within weeks after tick bite even if they do not develop the rash of initial stage.
Individuals with Lyme disease in second stage can sometimes feel tired and sick. These people may also have these circular rashes on other areas of the body even though they are not the tick bite sites.
When the symptoms of Lyme disease during the first stage do not appear and if it is not treated properly during the initial stage, it results in final stage of Lyme disease.
It can take weeks to years for the symptoms of final stage Lyme disease to appear after the tick bite. The symptoms of final stage include arthritis, cognitive deterioration, etc.
If the Lyme disease affects the heart, it results in irregular heart rhythm and chest pain. In some individuals, this can extend to the nervous system and causes facial paralysis or numbness and tingling in the upper and lower extremities.
It also causes meningitis with initial symptoms of neck stiffness and headache. It also causes joint pain and swelling.
Since the rash is different from other rashes, no blood tests are necessary to diagnose, but in exceptional cases of having no rash, physicians should depend on other symptoms.
Ticks prefer to bite at certain areas such as back of the ears, neck, armpits, groin, and behind the knees.
Prevent Lyme disease when you are going outdoors by wearing enclosed boots, shoes, shirts and pants that covers the hands and legs completely.
You can also prevent by wearing light-colored clothes, so that ticks can be easily identified. Do not sit on the grounds and always keep checking for ticks.