Treatment of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease, or borreliosis, is an emerging infectious disease caused by at least three species of bacteria belonging to the genus Borrelia. Borrelia burgdorferi is the predominant cause of Lyme disease in the U.S., whereas Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii are implicated in most European cases.Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.
You’re more likely to get Lyme disease if you live or spend time in the grassy and heavily wooded areas where ticks carrying the disease breed. It’s important to take common-sense precautions in areas where Lyme disease is prevalent. If treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of the disease,
Causes of Lyme Disease
Ticks feed on blood, attaching to a host and feeding until they’re swollen to many times their normal size. During feeding, ticks that carry disease-producing bacteria can transmit the bacteria to a healthy host. Or they may pick up bacteria themselves if the host is infected. In areas where Lyme disease is common, as many as 50 percent of deer ticks may carry Correlative burgdorferi.
Location – Some states have a higher incidence of Lyme disease than others. The 10 states that have the most reported cases of Lyme Disease yearly include New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Maryland, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Maine. Increased risk in these areas can be attributed to a greater amount of wooded areas and a larger quantity of deer.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Human Lyme borreliosis generally occurs in stages, with remissions and exacerbations and different symptoms at each stage. The first stage of Lyme disease is a rash known as erythema migrans (EM), which usually occurs several days to a month after the tick bite, and consists of a small red lesion that later expands to form a ring-shaped rash – “bull’s eye” – a bright red ring encircling the bite and a clear area at the center. Symptoms of Lyme disease are diverse and often occur in early and late phases. They vary widely from person to person. Any one symptom may fail to appear, and symptoms may overlap in various combinations. Death from Lyme disease is very rare and occurs only in a few cases in which the heart is severely affected.
How is Lyme disease treated
Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. Early-stage Lyme disease responds very well to treatment. In most cases, 14 to 30 days of treatment with an antibiotic kills the bacteria. Your doctor will tell you how many days to take the antibiotic. It’s important for you to take all the medicine your doctor prescribes to prevent the spread of Lyme disease to your joints, nervous system or heart.
If the disease has progressed, your doctor may recommend treatment with an intravenous antibiotic for 14 to 28 days. This is effective in eliminating infection, although it may take some time to recover symptomatically. Intravenous antibiotics can cause various side effects, including a lower white blood cell count, gallstones and mild to severe diarrhea.