LYME DISEASE

Description

  • Bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks
  • Caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi
  • Also called Lyme borreliosis

Symptoms

  • “Bull’s eye” rash (erythema migrans)
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Sore throat
  • Vision changes
  • Fatigue
  • Neck stiffness

Causes

  • Caused by blacklegged or deer ticks which carry the bacteria
  • Bite of an infected tick
  • Tick latches onto the skin for 36 – 48 hours

Risk Factors

  • Spending time in wooded or grassy areas
  • Having exposed skin
  • Not removing ticks promptly or properly
  • Outdoor activities such as hiking and camping

Diagnostic Tests

  • Assessment of health history and a physical exam
  • Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)
  • Western Blot Test
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

Treatment

  • 14 to 21 day course of oral antibiotics
  • Antibiotic injections
  • Doxycycline for adults and children older than 8 years
  • Cefuroxine and amoxicillin

Prevention

  • Cover up when in wooded or grassy areas
  • Use insect repellents
  • Remova a tick as soon as possible with tweezers
  • Do your best to tick-proof the yard
  • Make sure ticks are not brought home on the clothes
  • Inspect the pets and skin for ticks
  • Wear appropriate clothing in tick-infested areas
  • Check children’s head and neck areas, including their scalp
  • Wear light coloured fabrics
  • Apply antiseptic cream immedaitely after getting bit by a tick