What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease?

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease? The first sign of Lyme disease is a rash and then fatigue, flu like symptoms, head ache and a stiff neck.

Lyme disease originated in Europe and in the last 10 years has been more and more prevalent in the United States. The first city in the United States where Lyme disease was found was Lyme, Connecticut and that is where it gets its name. Over ninety percent of all cases of Lyme disease have occurred in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Connecticut, New

York, California, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and New Jersey.

Lyme disease is contracted through tick bites and transmitted to humans. It is more prevalent in places that have white tail deer because they are the main carriers of the tick that transmits the disease. The tick is transferred from the deer onto pets, mice, and jackrabbits and these in turn bring them close to humans for transfer.

Many tick bites go undetected because they are usually painless. The first sign a person usually gets of Lyme disease is a rash of small red papules on the skin. These little bumps are mostly on the torso and are small and raised. Then fatigue, flu like symptoms, head ache and a stiff neck set in. The victim may start vomiting. There may be extreme pain in some of the joints. If you have recently been hiking in the woods and have any of these symptoms a few days later (or even up to several months later), see your doctor.

Mention the possibility of Lyme disease to your doctor because many doctors fail to diagnose it until it is in the late stages of the disease. Lyme disease is similar to multiple sclerosis, gout and chronic fatigue syndrome in symptoms and is often mistaken as such.

The advanced symptoms and permanent damage of Lyme disease are very serious. Severe and painful arthritis is the most common. Damage to the cardiovascular system and the central nervous system also occur. Facial paralysis may occur soon after or even months later. Enlargement of the spleen and the lymph nodes, irregular heart beats and brain damage. Sometimes these major symptoms subside in a few years and stay away.

But many times they will come back for no reason.

These is now a test to diagnose Lyme disease. A doctor takes a blood sample and tests it to find out if the antibodies are present that are common in Lyme disease. A urine test could also be available that detects the bacteria which cause Lyme disease.

There are precautions you can take to avoid getting bit by ticks. In heavily wooded areas wear long pants, long sleeved shirts, gloves and a hat and scarf. Tuck pants into boots and shirt sleeves into gloves. You can use Deet by spraying on your clothing and any exposed area of the skin, except your face. Deet must be used with caution as it has side effects. Keep deet away from children, it can be fatal if ingested. Check your pets frequently for ticks. Check your children every night before they go to bed for ticks. Put all clothing in the dryer for half an hour to kill ticks by dehydration. The washing machine may not kill ticks because they float on the top of the water, and they can survive under water for awhile.

If you find that there is a tick on you, removal of the tick as soon as possible is crucial. The longer the tick is in, the greater the risk of Lyme disease. Remove the tick with a pair of tweezers. Put the tweezers as close to your skin as possible and pull the tick straight out. Don't twist the tick as you pull. Don't squeeze the bloated body. Wash your hands and the bite area with rubbing alcohol. It is not advisable to use a match to try and burn the tick out due to burning the skin. If you suspect that it could be a deer tick take it to the doctor for identification. Watch for all the symptoms of Lyme disease for the next three weeks.

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