Have you heard of the Lyme's desease? It is a bacterial infection caused by the bite of a tick infected with a bacteria. This bacteria contaminates the tick and, when it bites humans, it can cause Lyme disease. Although the incidence is very low (only 1 to 3% of people who are bitten by this tick can get the disease) it is the main disease caused by ticks. The United States (New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Connecticut, Pennsylvania ...) is the country with the most cases, although it has also been detected in parts of Canada, Southern Europe and Asia.
Usually the first symptom is a rash, like a rosette (redness and inflammation) at the site of the bite, although not everyone can present it, since as always, everything depends on the immune system of each one. As the infection spreads, the following may occur:
- General malaise and fatigue.
- Stiff neck with swollen and painful glands.
- Generalized myalgias (muscle aches).
- Joint pain.
In reality, if the local rash does not appear, the symptoms are similar to any flu or other pathologies.
There are risk factors for getting the Lyme's desease, between them we have:
- Live in some of the aforementioned areas.
- Have a pet that can easily transport the tick inside the house.
- Staying for a long time or frequenting areas where there are a lot of weeds, bushes, grass, bushes or forests.
- Carry out outdoor activities such as camping, gardening or sports such as mountaineering, hunting, fishing, in areas infested by the tick without proper protection, such as the use of boots, gloves, repellent, and other safety measures.
In view of that the symptoms of this disease are very similar to others, especially flu symptoms, the diagnosis is not very easy or fast and the danger of complications due to not diagnosing it on time is also greater.
Many times you have to wait at least two weeks for the tests to be positive and in the meantime the infection progresses and complicates, in addition, many times the person is not aware that they may have been bitten by a tick, which is another cause for the delay. diagnosis.
If it is treated in time, there are generally no complications, but the delay in diagnosis can lead to very severe complications such as:
- Headaches very intense with more neck stiffness.
- Severe arthritis and tendon pain and muscles that can lead to hypotonia (poor muscle tone) and weakness.
- Palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness.
- Cerebral palsy with facial paralysis and loss of muscle strength.
- Inflammation of the spinal cord with numbness of both hands and feet.
The treatment is based on specific antibiotics to fight the bacteria and, done in time, a fast and timely cure is achieved.
The important thing as always is the prevention and the security measures that must be taken, especially people who live in endemic areas and spend a lot of time outdoors:
1. Avoid sitting directly on the ground and always check your body when you get home for possible tick bites or other insects.
2. Use repellent that contains between 10 and 30% DEET (N, N, diethyl-m-toluamide).
3. If you have long hair, better to collect it and cover it with hats to protect it.
4. Wear high boots or closed shoes, socks, pants, and long-sleeved shirts.
5. Tuck the ends of the legs through the boots or socks.
6. Light colored clothing to easily detect the presence of ticks.
7. On the way home, check yourself well, like your pet, and take a good shower, using shampoo on the hair to remove any that may not be in plain sight.
8. Wash your clothes well every time you come from those tick infested areas.
9. If you detect a tick, you should remove it in the following way. With a forceps you should grasp it deeply at the level of the skin, trying to pull with force and firmness to remove it completely. Place it in a bottle with alcohol to kill it and take it to the doctor to determine if it could be the black tick that transmits this disease and indicate treatment with antibiotics, if necessary. Avoid the use of petroleum jelly, home remedies or lit match to kill the tick, as it can deepen it further and complicate the picture.
Regarding this disease, in recent times there has been more talk about it because the famous Canadian singer Justin Bieber has declared through his social networks that he has suffered from this disease for 2 years as a result of a tick bite. And he is not the only character who has expressed suffering. Richard Gere, Avril Lavigne or Bella Hadid also know, unfortunately, this disease.
You can read more articles similar to What is Lyme disease, how is it spread, and how to treat it, in the category of Childhood Diseases on site.