Lyme Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

Disease Causes

Overview of and Health

Lyme Disease is a major issue in many parts of the world. The infection is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, and is spread by bites from deer ticks. In some cases, humans and animals can become infected without ever being bitten by a tick. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease, as early intervention is critical for successful treatment.

Causes of Lyme Disease

  • Borrelia burgdorferi is a bacteria that resides in deer ticks, and is spread by the bite of an infected deer tick
  • In some cases, the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium can be transmitted in other ways, such as the mother passing it on to her baby in utero, or through breastfeeding
  • Humans and animals can become infected without ever being bitten by a tick through contact with infected tissue, such as blood or urine

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease can cause a wide range of symptoms, and can vary from person to person. Common signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease include:

  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever and chills
  • Unexplained rashes
  • Headache and neck stiffness
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Fatigue

If left untreated, Lyme Disease can cause complications, such as arthritis or neurologic problems.

Treatment of Lyme Disease

The best way to treat Lyme Disease is to attack the infection quickly. Treatment usually consists of a combination of antibiotics, and is often done in stages.

The first stage is a short course of antibiotics, usually doxycycline or amoxicillin. This is followed by a more intense, longer course of antibiotic therapy, typically lasting several weeks. In some cases, intravenous antibiotics may be necessary.

Prevention and Health

Prevention

The best way to avoid getting Lyme Disease is to prevent tick bites. When outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and use insect repellents. Be sure to check yourself and your pets for ticks after activities outdoors.

Health

Lyme Disease can be debilitating and can cause long-term health issues. It is important to see a doctor as soon as symptoms begin and to get treated to prevent further health issues. It is also important to be aware of possible side effects of the treatment of Lyme Disease.

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