Lyme disease is an infectious illness caused when an individual gets infected by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. It is often difficult to diagnose on time but early detection is crucial in Lyme disease as it spreads to joints and even the nervous system over time. The disease is often diagnosed with the help of symptoms, the possibility of exposure to a vector, and laboratory testing. Lyme disease is not known to be contagious but can last in an infected person or animal for as long as six months to a year even with adequate treatment.
How Can a Person Get Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is transmitted to a person when they get bitten by a tick carrying the bacteria that causes it. The disease is mostly transmitted by ticks in the nymph stage, and symptoms often manifest a week after the bite. People are more likely to get Lyme disease if they have animals, or if they live in woody or grassy areas where ticks can be found. Ticks that transmit Lyme disease can often transmit other diseases as well.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
The symptoms that Lyme disease presents tend to vary depending on the stage of the disease. One very common symptom is the erythema migrants which is a circle or oval-shaped rash which appears at the site of the tick bite. The rash is easier to notice in light-skinned people as it has a red or purple color. The rash is not usually itchy and it often spreads gradually. Sometimes it can have a ring of lighter skin in its center.
Other symptoms people with Lyme disease may have are headaches, weakness, fever, difficulty sleeping, and muscle pain. Children with Lyme disease will also have these symptoms along with mood changes, aggression, and nightmares.
Symptoms that the infected person may develop if they do not begin treatment early are paralysis of the facial nerves, memory loss, arthritis, and meningitis.
Post-Lyme Disease Syndrome
PTLDS is the continuous manifestation of certain Lyme disease symptoms after treatment. About 20% of people who develop Lyme disease and receive treatment end up with the syndrome. PTLDS often affects the sufferer’s cognitive skills and mobility. Other symptoms experienced are aching joints, lack of focus, insomnia, fatigue, and swelling in the joints. It usually takes months or years before full recovery happens.
How to Treat Lyme Disease
If Lyme disease is discovered while it is still in the early stages, treatment is usually intake of antibiotics for about two weeks to get rid of the infection. Treatment plans could differ depending on the stage of the disease and the person being treated. Certain medicines are not recommended for treating Lyme disease if the sick person is also suffering facial paralysis. As a result, all symptoms must be identified before treatment begins to avoid further complications.
People with Lyme disease who experience symptoms that include arthritis and swelling in the joints are advised to reduce physical activities and to make use of support so they do not damage their joints. Treatment of Post-Lyme Disease Syndrome is usually focused on alleviating pain.
Preventing Lyme Disease
It is much better to prevent Lyme disease than to treat it. Treatment of such infectious diseases is mostly focused on keeping the vector responsible for transmitting the disease away. In this case, prevention is focused on eradicating ticks from the environment.
Here are some practical ways to prevent Lyme disease:
- Keep ticks away from animals: Whether the animals are kept as pets or reared for commercial purposes, it is important to keep them free from ticks so the ticks do not find their way into nearby homes. The best way to do this would be to make use of sprays, soaps, or other materials that will keep ticks away. A veterinary doctor must be consulted before these products are used on the animals so that products that could harm specific animals are not used.
- Avoid going to areas that may be tick-infested: You should stay away from places you suspect may harbor ticks. Like other pests, ticks can stay hidden in your home without your knowledge. They are also very tiny and it may be difficult to spot them. The moment you see one or two ticks moving around your home, you may want to do a thorough inspection to help find and get rid of them. To ensure your safety and that of those around you, it would be better to get professionals like those at Shoreline Pest Services to do this.
- Treat clothing with tick repellent: For people who live in areas with a lot of ticks, clothing, bed sheets, blankets and rugs can be treated with a safe chemical to aid in keeping ticks away. This is also something that professional pest removal companies like Shoreline Pest Services can help you with.
- Use environmental pesticides: In environments where ticks are high in population, homeowners could treat their compounds and surroundings with pesticides often so the ticks do not get into the house.
Ticks are disease-carrying agents like most pests and the best way to avoid critical conditions like Lyme disease is to exterminate ticks whenever you spot them. However, this is easier said than done. Because ticks are so small and are often found in areas with tall vegetation or a group of animals that is too large to contain, hiring a professional company to take care of your problem could be the easiest and quickest solution for you. They will have the necessary equipment to get rid of the plague and having a spot-on solution will save you money in the long run. The team at Shoreline Pest Services could be a great option for you, especially if you reside in Florida. If you don’t, make sure to check out pest control companies in your area that specialize in tick control and extermination.