Lymedisease is a tick-borne illness caused by the spirochete B burgdorferi. Lymedisease can be divided into early disease (stage 1, EM), disseminated infection (stage 2), and late disease (stage 3, persistent infection). The first stage involves the skin, followed by stages 2 and 3, which often affect the skin, joints, CNS, and heart. However, any of the stages may fail to appear or may overlap with one another
|Localized erythema chronicum migrans||Early infection|
|Disseminated infection||Within days or years|
|Persistent infection||Months to years|
Once diagnosed, Lyme disease can be treated. Physicians can determine if an individual has been infected by the Lymedisease organism using a simple blood test; however, some people test negative but have the disease. The CDC warns against unproven tests and it is advised to check for proper testing procedures.
Infection can be treated by taking certain antibiotics. However, no immunity is conferred from infection so a person could get Lymedisease again from another infected tick.
Pets and other animals can contract Lymedisease as well, exhibiting symptoms similar to those in humans. Veterinarians can test for Lyme disease in pets and domestic animals exhibiting suspicious signs of arthritis (in younger animals), heart problems, or neurological signs.
Early lyme disease responds readily to several oral agents (such as doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime), which are usually prescribed for 2-3 weeks. There are few published, controlled trials that compare different regimens for late Lymedisease. Intravenous therapy, usually ceftriaxone or penicillin, is used for 2-3 weeks for late Lymedisease.
Lyme disease is a bacterial disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacterium is transmitted to humans via a tick bite. Within 1 to 2 weeks after being infected, a “bull’s-eye” rash can develop at the tick bite site accompanied by fever, headache, and muscle or joint pain. Some people may have Lymedisease and not have any early symptoms. However, others can have a fever and other “flu-like” symptoms without a rash.