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What is Lyme Disease


									Lyme Disease. What is Lyme disease?Lyme disease is an infectious disease.
A spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, a kind of germ, is the cause. Deer
ticks or western black-legged ticks bite people and transmit the
bacterium to humans. These ticks are about the size of sesame seeds. Lyme
disease mostly happens in rural and suburban regions. Lyme disease is
found in United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.The symptoms of Lyme
disease include: Fever Headache Fatigue Chills Stiff neck Muscle aches
Joint pain Skin rash named erythema migrans, which appears from week to
month after a tick bite. This rash usually starts at the site of the tick
bite. Originally it is a small red spot that grow larger. The center
fade, which looks like a "bull's eye" or ring. Some people have just many
red spots instead. The rash burns and itches often. However some people
do not feel it.Later infection spreads to joints, the heart, and nervous
system. Affected heart beats irregularly or slowly. Bell's palsy (a sort
of face droop) means the nervous system damage. If not treated, Lyme
disease causes arthritis (joints inflammation) and more nervous system
problems. Usually, only one large joint, knee for example, swells and
hurts. Sometimes more than one joint becomes inflamed. Later, Lyme
disease causes trouble concentrating, memory loss, muscle weakness,
tingling and numbness.How to find out if you have Lyme disease?Talk to
your doctor about your symptoms. He usually diagnoses Lyme disease if you
have symptoms and physical findings (especially specific rash). The
possibility of infected tick bites is important in the consideration. Lab
tests are helpful mostly in the later stages of disease. Early they may
give false results. People who have been sick with Lyme disease for less
than a month may have negative blood test, because they still have to
develop antibodies to the disease. Also, in early Lyme disease, patients
who take antibiotics for other reasons may never develop a positive Lyme
disease test. Blood test is almost always positive in patients who sick
for over month without antibiotics.Swelled joints or nervous system
symptoms may require special tests. Joint fluid or spine fluid aspiration
helps to recognize the condition.How is Lyme disease treated?Most cases
of Lyme disease are treated with several weeks of antibiotics. Early Lyme
disease requires 14 to 30 days of antibiotics. Antibiotics usually are
given by mouth. If the nervous system is involved, antibiotics may need
to be given intravenously. Take all the drugs, which your doctor
prescribed, according to instruction. To prevent spreading the infection
to joints, heart and nervous system do not stop taking the medicine. Call
your doctor and discuss if you have some problems with the drug. Blood
tests are not very useful to check your treatment. Sometime Lyme disease
gives positive tests even after a moth of treatment. In advanced Lyme
disease, symptoms may improve, but do not disappear completely. If
symptoms persist or worsen after treatment, contact your doctor.How to
prevent Lyme disease?The best way is to avoid tick bites. Clothing in the
woods area, long-sleeved shirt and pants instead of shorts are good
protection. An insect repellent containing permethrin or similar staff
could be used. Follow instructions for application because the repellents
may also cause skin irritation. After walking outdoors, check your skin
body and scalp for ticks and rashes. Check your pets. Remove ticks
promptly form you cloth. Also consider landscaping and pest control in
you area. The ticks may transmit other tick-borne diseases too.If you
find a tick on your skin, use tweezers, grasp the tick close to your
skin. Pull steady, do not squeeze or twist the tick. If any parts stay in
your skin, carefully remove them as if a splinter. Then put some
antiseptic ointment. Old methods of putting kerosene, gasoline on the
tick were not proved to work well. After removing the tick, check your
skin over the next month. In case of a rash, go to your doctor and tell
about the bite. Usually people, who are bitten by a tick, but do not feel
sick or get a rash, do not need antibiotics. If you are unsure, call your
doctor at the time of bite. Some other diseases, spread by ticks, may
require additional actions and treatments.

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