General Facts About Lyme Disease and Its Origin
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that’s caused by ticks prevalent in deer. The official name is Borrelia burgdorferi which is a type of bacterium called a spirochete. When a tick is infected with the spirochete it can be passed on to both humans and animals (other than deer) when bitten. If the infection is not spotted or it is spotted and not treated, the bacterium travels through the bloodstream until it reaches various body tissues and will start to establish itself there. In some cases, the symptoms can be incredibly severe.
In its earlier stages, Lyme disease will show up on the skin however, it is known as an inflammatory infection which will soon spread from the skin to the nervous system, various joints in the body and in its later stages to other organs in the body. For the most part this disease can be treated fairly easily with antibiotics but, only when caught in its earlier stages.
Lyme disease is also a pretty personal infection in that each patient reacts differently. Different symptoms will be more prevalent in some patients compared to others. The disease may also progress more slowly in some patients. This is why it can be a challenge for doctors to diagnose and treat. There are also limitations on what a blood test will tell a doctor simply because of the way Lyme disease will manifest in any one patient.
This infection is actually more common than most people think with a reported 150,000 cases to the Center of Disease Control since 1982. Its more often found in the Upper Mid-West and North Eastern parts of the USA because this where this particular breed of ticks preferred host lives. This being deer and white footed mice which tend to be in fairly close proximity to humans.
For people that are around this sort of environment on a regular basis where these animals can be found its important that you check yourself for ticks. If one is found, there is no real cause for alarm unless it has been attached to the skin from between 36-48 hours. You can tell this if the ticks body looks swollen. This means it has already managed to gorge itself on blood and could have had the chance to transmit the bacterium carrying Lyme disease into your system.
If a tick is found, it should be removed immediately and due to the way they attach themselves to the body, this is best done by a medical professional. At this stage, they will also be able to look for signs that you may have contracted LD. This could be a red rash that has surrounded the tick bite, joint pains or flu-like symptoms. The latter two symptoms however, may not appear until at least one month after the tick has been removed.
For anyone who is unlucky enough to suffer from Lyme disease there may be instances when symptoms can still arise even after treatment has been completed and, they can manifest for many years afterwards. However, this should be considered something of an annoyance rather than anything life threatening.