A good deal of false information has been spread about Lyme disease, much to the dismay of healthcare professionals. The spread of false information makes it hard for doctors and nurses to treat their patients effectively and promote effective disease management programs.
Lyme disease is an infectious desease caused by a bacterium known as Borrelia burgdorferi. The infection is carried by an arachnid called black legged ticks (also known as deer ticks or Ixodes scapularis) these ticks are common in most of the Eastern United States and Canada. Deer ticks can also spread a variety of other disease but Lyme disease is by far the most common. The longer a tick is attached to your body, the higher the probability of infection.
Humans are infected with lyme disease after bitten by a deer tick. The biting of a person spreads the bacteria from the tick to its human host. After being bitten, Lyme disease signs may include a small red bump that may develop in the exact spot where a person was bitten.
This small red bump is indicative of a tick bite, not of Lyme disease. If the tick was a Lyme disease carrier, then other Lyme disease symptoms may follow. They are bull’s eye shaped rash will develop in the bitten area. This bull’s eye shaped rash is called erythema migrans and is a hall mark of Lyme disease. Many Lyme disease sufferers develop a few of these bull’s eye shaped rashes in a variety of areas across their bodies. Along with these rashes, lyme disease patients develop flu like symptoms (fever, muscle aches, fatigue, headaches, etc.) If left untreated Lyme disease patients may develop joint pain, neurological problems, liver inflammation, irregular heartbeats and inflammation.
Lyme disease is diagnosed through conducting a detailed physical examination and a variety of tests. The examinations include blood test and the testing of the patient’s joint fluid.
If diagnosed Lyme disease management is treated with anti-biotic medication. Depending on the stage and severity of the disease oral or intravenous anti-biotic medications are used.
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