Introduction to Lyme Disease

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is an infection transmitted by the bite of an infected deer tick. The tick transmits a spiral shaped bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi, which can rapidly disseminate throughout the body. While the adult ticks primarily feed on deer, the nymphal (immature) ticks feed on squirrels, mice, lizards, rabbits and certain birds.

Tick bites across multiple species of animals can potentiate the spread and number of infections that are transmitted. With the transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi, there commonly are other strains of Borrelia and other associated tick borne infections that may also spread.

Early in the course of the infection, testing is of limited value as it takes 4-6 weeks for the body to develop antibodies. Waiting to treat it, on the other hand, will allow the infection to spread making it much more difficult to eradicate.

Early Lyme Disease:

Early lyme disease refers to the symptoms that develop within the first few weeks after a tick bite. Some of the early symptoms include:

  • Low-grade fevers

  • Muscle aches

  • Fatigue

  • Joint pains

  • Low-grade fevers

  • “Bulls Eye’’ rash (within a few days to weeks, red expanding rash with clear center, multiple lesions possible)

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