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Lyme Disease: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention


Tick-borne ailments, reminiscent of Lyme illness, are on the rise in individuals and canine. Reported circumstances in individuals within the U.S. elevated from about 12,000 yearly in 1995 to roughly 35,000 in 2019, in keeping with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Nonetheless, not all recognized circumstances are reported and the CDC believes the true variety of human infections is probably going nearer to 476,000 per 12 months.

The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration regulates merchandise which are used to assist stop, diagnose, and deal with this advanced illness. 

Who Will get Lyme Illness, What Time of 12 months?

Lyme illness is a bacterial an infection mostly transmitted by way of the chunk of contaminated ticks, which connect to any a part of the physique. 

The CDC recommends you verify your canine each day, particularly after they spend time open air. Pay specific consideration to the collar space and across the eyelids, ears, tail, underneath the entrance legs, and between the again legs and toes. 

On individuals, you’ll most frequently discover ticks in moist or furry areas such because the groin, armpits, scalp, and different hard-to-see areas of the physique. And whereas everyone seems to be prone to tick bites, campers, hikers, and individuals who work in gardens and different woody, and brushy areas with excessive grass and leaf litter, are on the best danger of tick bites. As many a suburban gardener can attest, with the enlargement of the suburbs and a push to preserve wooded areas, deer populations are thriving. Deer are vital sources of blood for ticks and are vital to tick survival and motion to new areas, rising the contact between individuals and ticks that carry the micro organism. Learn extra in regards to the lifecycle of the micro organism and the way it’s transmitted to individuals and canine.

Normally, a tick have to be connected for 36 to 48 hours or extra earlier than the Lyme illness bacterium will be transmitted. Should you take away it inside 24 hours, the danger is significantly decreased. Signs of Lyme illness might take 3-30 days or longer to seem.

Within the majority of circumstances, tick bites are reported in the summertime months when ticks are most energetic and other people spend extra time open air. However this may prolong into the hotter months of early autumn, and even late winter if temperatures are unusually excessive. Equally, a gentle winter can enable ticks and different bugs to thrive and emerge sooner than ordinary.

Methods to Safely Take away a Tick

  1. Utilizing fine-tipped tweezers, grasp the tick as near the pores and skin’s floor as attainable.
  2. Pull upward with regular, even stress. Do not twist or jerk the tick. Your purpose is to take away the whole tick, ideally in a single piece, together with the mouth components embedded underneath the pores and skin.
  3. Completely clear the chunk space and your arms with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or cleaning soap and water.

Safe Tick Removal With Tweezers

Not all ticks carry Lyme illness, and a few ticks carry different ailments. To keep away from infecting your self, by no means crush a tick along with your fingers. For extra info on the secure removing, disposal and identification of ticks go to CDC.gov/ticks.

Lyme Illness in Folks


What can I do to forestall Lyme illness?

  • Keep away from wooded, brushy, and grassy areas, particularly throughout hotter months (April – September), though tick publicity can happen anytime.
  • Put on light-colored clothes to be able to see ticks that get on you.
  • Deal with clothes and equipment with merchandise containing 0.5% permethrin.
  • Apply insect repellents on uncovered pores and skin, and make sure the merchandise are registered by the Environmental Safety Company.
  • Put on lengthy pants and long-sleeved shirts, and sneakers that cowl the whole foot.
  • Tuck pant legs into socks or sneakers, and tuck shirts into pants.
  • Put on a hat for further safety.
  • Stroll within the heart of trails to keep away from brush and grass.
  • Take away your clothes after being open air, and wash and dry them at excessive temperatures.
  • Do a cautious physique verify for ticks after out of doors actions.

There are not any licensed vaccines accessible within the U.S. to assist within the prevention of Lyme illness in individuals.

Signs and Levels

Signs of early-stage Lyme illness embrace:

  • muscle and joint aches
  • headache
  • fever
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • swollen lymph nodes

One other frequent symptom of Lyme illness is a rash (known as “Erythema migrans”). As many as 80% of contaminated individuals might develop a rash, nevertheless the attribute “bull’s-eye” rash seems solely 20% of the time. 

Later-stage signs might not seem till weeks or months after a tick chunk. They embrace:

  • irregular heartbeat and/or coronary heart palpitations 
  • arthritis (often seen as ache and swelling in giant joints, particularly the knee)
  • nervous system abnormalities

When left untreated, the bacterial an infection can unfold to joints, the center, and the nervous system and trigger everlasting harm. Lyme illness isn’t deadly. 

Nonetheless, if not handled correctly, Lyme illness can grow to be a persistent sickness the place signs would possibly proceed for weeks, months, and even years after the preliminary tick chunk.

Lyme Illness in Canine

Canine can get Lyme illness, too. Typical signs in canine embrace swollen joints and lameness, fever, and lack of urge for food. Specialists within the FDA’s Heart for Veterinary Medication say canine with Lyme illness sometimes develop critical kidney illness that may be deadly.

There are methods you’ll be able to scale back your canine’s danger for tick bites and Lyme illness, which additionally reduces the danger of an infection for you. 

  • Usually verify your canine for ticks. 
  • Keep away from permitting your canine to roam in tick-infested areas. 
  • Deal with your canine year-round with topical, oral and/or collar tick merchandise. Speak to your veterinarian about which product is finest to your canine.

Lyme illness happens a lot much less incessantly in cats than in canine, and cats’ susceptibility to the illness continues to be the topic of analysis. Nonetheless, the identical precautions for canine apply to cats, particularly in case your cat goes outdoors, as a result of ticks on cats will be transferred to individuals and ticks carry different ailments apart from Lyme illness which are dangerous to cats.

There are a number of FDA-approved merchandise that deal with and management tick infestations. A few tick merchandise are additionally authorized in canine to particularly stop infections with the micro organism that causes Lyme illness by killing the ticks that carry the micro organism.

Lyme illness vaccines can be found for canine, however not for cats. Speak to your veterinarian to see if vaccination is suitable to your canine. 

Lyme Illness Assessments and Therapy

Should you assume you or your canine might have Lyme illness, contact your doctor or veterinarian instantly. 

Your physician or veterinarian might check for Lyme illness, and/or they might instantly start antibiotic remedy, relying on the signs you or your canine exhibit. 

Most blood assessments verify for the antibodies produced by the physique to struggle Lyme illness. CDC consultants report it could take a number of weeks after a tick chunk for preliminary antibodies to develop. Due to this, the blood assessments is probably not correct if achieved quickly after a tick chunk. 

Because of this, your physician or veterinarian might suggest remedy with antibiotics earlier than the diagnostic assessments are full. In keeping with the CDC and different consultants, individuals handled with acceptable antibiotics within the early phases of Lyme illness often get well quickly and fully. 

In canine, the extra delicate early phases of Lyme illness usually go unnoticed. Even when your canine seems wholesome, your veterinarian might suggest yearly screening for Lyme illness, particularly for those who dwell in an space the place Lyme illness is frequent. In case your canine’s blood check is constructive, your veterinarian might suggest extra testing, reminiscent of a urinalysis.


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