WHAT IS LYME
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by a tick to a human.
Some cases of Lyme disease are easily treated with antibiotics if caught early and properly diagnosed. Unfortunately, some cases of Lyme disease are not caught early and severe, debilitating symptoms can result. Lyme disease is considered by some to be one bacteria (borrelia burgdorferi) but it is now known that multiple strains of Lyme bacteria exist and often in the very ill patient the presence of other co-infections contribute to the long term symptoms. All of these issues need to be addressed in the Lyme patient.
Early Lyme Disease Symptoms
If Lyme disease is not diagnosed and treated early, it can turn into chronic Lyme disease. Symptoms of early Lyme disease may include:
Flu-like symptoms, including fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea, joint pain
Bell's Palsy facial drooping
Rashes often appear in a bulls eye shape. Many develop a different type of rash or none at all
Late Stage or Chronic Lyme Disease Symptoms
Consult the Mayo Clinic website for Later Signs and Symptoms, as well as Less Common Signs and Symptoms of Lyme disease.
Lyme Disease Mimics
Chronic Lyme disease often mimics other conditions and leads to the difficulty of an accurate diagnosis. Many Lyme patients report being misdiagnosed with a different condition before being properly diagnosed with Lyme disease.
Prevention of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases
Enjoy the outdoors by taking these steps to protect yourself and your family from ticks.
Routinely conduct full-body tick checks on yourself and children after being outdoors.
Check your pets and all of your gear for ticks.
Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter. Walk in the center of trails.
Wear long pants, long sleeved shirts, light-colored clothing (to spot ticks), a hat (tuck in hair), and enclosed shoes. Also cover your wrists and ankles, and tuck your pants into your socks.
Use repellents that contain 20 to 30% DEET on exposed skin and clothing for protection that last up to several hours.
Treat clothing and gear with products containing PERMETHRIN. Pre-treated clothing is available and may provide longer-lasting protection.
Bathe after coming indoors to wash off loose ticks that are crawling on you.
Tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat for an hour to kill remaining ticks.