Lyme disease is one of the most widespread conditions in the Northern part of the world. It is usually caused by three species of bacteria of the Borrelia genus which can be transferred from ticks of animals, like mice and deer, to human skin. This condition greatly affects certain parts of the body like the skin, nervous system, joints as well as the heart.
The skin exhibits the first sign of occurrence of Lyme disease as appearance of circular rash is observed within two to three weeks after being infected by disease causing bacteria. Appearance of a target-like rash with a red colored central rash bounded with a clear or white skin color and then bordered by red colored ring, or can sometimes appear like a bruise on arms thighs, legs, and back. The accumulation of rash is accompanied by warm itching sensations.
Other symptoms like occasional headaches, fatigues, and muscle aches are also felt all along with the appearance of the rash. If not treated immediately, Lyme disease can spread throughout the body leading to a more stern stage thus affecting other parts of the body severely.
Cases of Lyme disease had been present since the 16th century however, due to less knowledge and less diagnostic equipments, people were unable to determine what really caused the spread of Lyme disease. And during the 18th century, several scientists were able to identify a DNA of a certain species of the genus Borrelia.
In the year 2010 a well preserved mummy known as Otzi the Iceman was studied and is now known as the first human infected with Lyme disease.
Ticks found in mice, deer and sheep acts as a vector since comes in between the transmission of the disease causing bacteria. The Borrelia burgdorferi is the most common bacteria that cause Lyme disease in human because of a Lyme-related DNA. It is carried by the tick throughout its life cycle.
During the B. Burgdorferi development within the midgut of the tick, it reacts with a certain proteins by regulating and binding to it. And as the tick bites a host, the immunosuppressive protein is secreted and transferred to the host’s body, causing the infection. Bites are not often felt due to the ability of the vector to produce substances that can prevent itch and pain sensations.
The kind of treatment given to someone infected with the disease-causing protein depends on the severity or stage of the Lyme disease. For adults, prescriptions like doxycyline and ceftriaxone can be taken. Children with Lyme are prescribed with amoxicillin while pregnant women are given erythromycin.
Patients with severe stages of Lyme undergo long-term treatments; however it can cause several side effects. For this reason, certain issues about the safety of long-term use of antibiotics are still being discussed.
Accumulation of Lyme disease can be prevented through several ways.
- Take vaccinations. Lyme disease can be prevented with recombinant vaccines that fight against causative agents of Lyme disease. Ask the doctor if there new types of vaccines that can help protect your body from being infected with the disease.
- Pets can be infested with ticks, for this reason it is important to protect your pets by keeping them away from areas that are greatly infested. Pet owners can also give their pets vaccinations from time to time.
- When roaming around places with possible tick infestations, use clothing like long-sleeve shirts, jackets, pants, socks, and hat.
- Wash clothing immediately with hot water and then soak it in bleach. This will help kill any tick that had accumulated on the clothes.
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