ABOUT Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infectious bacterial disease
caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. It is most often transmitted to
humans through infected ticks. The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease vary
greatly but commonly include fever, headache, fatigue, muscle pain, heart
palpitations, and a characteristic skin rash around the tick bite area. If not
treated effectively with antibiotics it can result in heart complications,
neurological disorders, or arthritis-like symptoms.
Lyme disease was first reported in 1981 when
three children were diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis following a
history of exposure to ticks in their Connecticut homes. All three children
lived in the town of Lyme, but the medical community was slow to recognize this
cluster of cases as a new disease. As reported on June 5, 1993, Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA), there were early discussions about whether
this problem was caused by an infectious organism, and if so, what organism
could be causing it.
The disease is named after Lyme, Connecticut, where a high incidence of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis was identified among children in 1975–76. The medical community was slow to recognize this cluster of cases as a new disease. Expert medical opinions were divided regarding whether this problem was caused by an infectious microorganism and if so what organism could be causing it.
Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by
the spirochete "Borrelia burgdorferi". Depending on the severity of
symptoms, patients can be treated with an oral antibiotic called doxycycline.
Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease may include:
Because signs and symptoms of Lyme disease may
be so variable, it is very difficult to predict who will get Lyme disease and
who will not. Some of the symptoms are:
will see this in less than 3 days after being infected. This is will
result in the formation of this symptom. It will slowly expand to 30
meters spanning half the area. It won't be itchy but expect a warm feeling
when you touch it. This then could be seen in different parts of your
pain in the joint: times after the infection, you will experience
pain in your knees. It may even shift from one to another.
this is more related to the previous one. This is experienced at the later
stage or appears as a sign.
- Others: other could
be fatigue, hepatitis, fever, and more.
Treatment of the Lyme Disease
To help control the spread of Lyme disease, the Connecticut state legislature established the Tick-Borne Disease Advisory Committee (TBDAC) in 1986. The committee's work resulted in Connecticut's first Tick-Borne Disease Control Program, created by Public Act 86-442, which specified that Yale University would conduct a five-year study of tick populations and ecology.
This public health project was designed to aid physicians in
understanding tick disease transmission, detect emerging tick-borne diseases,
and aid in public education about ticks. This program also funded two grants
for educational material for school children on tick prevention.
Long-term treatment with antibiotics for Lyme
disease is recommended for all cases. This is because the "Borrelia
burgdorferi" bacterium, which causes Lyme disease, can linger in the body
for years after infection. It can take months before a patient develops signs
and symptoms of the disease, even with early treatment.
There are several "in-office" tests
available to help doctors definitively diagnose Lyme disease. An enzyme-linked
immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test which detects antibodies to the bacteria to
confirm treatment is more accurate than standard clinical diagnosis but is not
widely available. A Western blot test that detects anti-Borrelia antibodies in
serum samples has also been found to help assess treatment efficacy.
Is Lyme Disease Life-threatening?
The chance of Lyme being life-threatening is low
or rare. But if you delay any sort of treatment, know that it will evolve into
How long can someone live without knowing?
This is one sneaky disease as its symptoms can
be seen after 6 months and could extend to 3 years. All you have to do is carry
with your regular checkup.