Lyme Disease, also known as Lyme Borreliosis, is a tick-borne bacterial infection. This major health concern only earned recognition very recently and is still hard to diagnose as the symptoms are complex and vary from one person to another.
Lyme Disease - Transmission
When a tick feeds on the blood of an animal, it can both contract a disease from the infected individual and transmit an infectious agent to its host. The Borrelia Burgdorferi bacteria which causes Lyme disease is transmitted when a tick is contaminated on an infected animal and then bites a human. The risk of infection increases gradually if the tick is not found out and stays feeding on blood longer, as the Bacteria must literally migrates from the tick to the human body.
What are the symptoms?
Lyme disease is a three-stage disease that can sometimes only be recognized in phase 2 or 3, making its treatment more complicated:
• Phase 1: Within a month after the bite, a red rash called migrant erythema surrounding a mosquito-like pimple can appear and gradually spread around the tick bite. Other flu-like symptoms with headaches, fever, dry cough and cursed throat, as well as muscle and joint pain and general fatigue may develop. If you notice the infection during this phase, consult a doctor immediately: the disease has not yet spread throughout the body and can be treated effectively with antibiotics.
• Phase 2: A few weeks or even months after the bite, the bacteria spreads and affects the entire body with additional symptoms such as severe headaches, meningitis, facial paralysis, palpitations, eye problems, and arthritis. Other red rashes can develop on the body and persist for more than a month. At this stage, your whole body is infected and appropriate treatment can prevent a stronger progression of the disease to Chronic Lyme.
• Phase 3: Without proper treatment, the infection can turn into a Chronic Lyme Disease where phase 2 symptoms become more severe. Other manifestations such as neurological disorders, attention and memory disorders, knee arthritis, chronic fatigue or encephalopathy may also occur. All these symptoms often complicate the diagnosis, which can be confused with other diseases such as syphilis or fibromyalgia. A Chronic Lyme Disease treatment will focus on alleviating the various symptoms.
Lyme Disease - Protection
There is no vaccine available to protect you against Lyme disease, so it is important to adopt the right reflexes to keep ticks away from you. Read our article about ticks to learn more about them and how to prevent tick bites.