Lyme Disease

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Lyme Disease was first founded in 1975 in Lyme, Connecticut. It is prominent in most parts of the United States, and is mostly seen in late spring, summer and early fall. It is caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. In other terms, it is caused by a tick bite. The tick will pick up the disease most commonly from a deer or mouse who is already carrying the disease. If the tick then bites you, you will become infected with the disease. For appearance, it looks like a big red spot in the center of where the bite occurred, and then a white ring surrounding the red spot of about 1 to 3 inches. Most people that get Lyme disease never even saw the tick on them, because the ticks that carry the disease are very small in size. If you discover yourself to be infected with Lyme disease, a doctor should be informed immediately.

Q1: I have read that a tick needs at least 24 hours on it's host before the host becomes infected, is this true? (J. Murray)
A1: The tick needs to have been attached to the body for at least 36 hours for the infection to take place.

Q2: Once infected, is the body quick to react to the tick bite? like, do symptoms start to happen quickly? or is the reaction process slower? (M.Fujimoto)
A2: Early symptoms can occur in anywhere between a week and a few weeks of the bite. Other symptoms can occur months or years later.

Q3: Once you have it, how or can it be cured? (C.Muth)
A3: Once you have been bitten, you should be watched closely for 30 days. A single dose of antibiotics can be prescribed to the patient after being bitten by a tick. The specific type of antibiotic used depends on the stage of the disease, and the symptoms.

Q4: If left untreated, are there any serious risk or other illnesses that can come from it left untreated?(A.Martin)
A4: Without treatment, you can develop complications involving joints (arthritis), and your heart can develop rhythm problems. The nervous system can also develp problems such as decreased concentration, memory disorders, nerve damage, numbness, pain, paralysis of the face muscles, sleep disorders and vision problems. If pregnant and untreated, this can be a big issue because the disease can lead to the baby and cause a miscarriage.

Q5: Is the infection more/less visible on people with lighter/darker pigmentations? (D. Antunes)
A5: If you have a darker skin tone, it is harder to see the bullseye infection. Therefore, it becomes more dangerous because this is the most obvious sign of infection. Therefore, they may remain untreated longer, and suffer more complications than those of a lighter skinned person.