Lyme disease, a danger during the vacations 10th May 2023 – Tags: ,

The vacations are fast approaching and so is the danger of being bitten by a tick, today we are going to lyme disease.
Although these small insects seem innocent because of their size, they carry a very dangerous disease called Lyme disease. How to protect yourself from this insect and what to do when you detect a bite on yourself? We will talk about it in the rest of the article.

What is lyme disease ?

The aforementioned disease belongs to a genus of bacterial diseases caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacterium belongs to the genus of gram negative bacteria and has the shape of a spirochete. The very vector of transmission of this disease is the tick of the genus Ixodes. Infection involves a bite through this species of insect.

Symptoms of Lyme disease:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Migratory erythema
  • Eventually, it can even lead to heart disorders, and neuroborreliosis

How to recognize erythema?
Erythema is among the most characteristic symptoms showing us that we have been bitten by a tick. The erythema occurs in most infected people – about 70-80%. It usually appears at the site of the bite after 3 maximum to 30 days. It gradually increases in size. It appears warm to the touch, in addition to being itchy and painful.

what is lyme disease
what is lyme disease

What should you do after noticing symptoms in yourself?

Once you have detected the main symptoms of the disease in yourself, you should contact your family doctor. After the consultation, the doctor will refer the patient for further tests. The diagnostic test that detects the Lyme spirochete is the so-called serological test for Borrelia burgdorferi. Serology deals with the interaction between antigens and antibodies. Unfortunately, the appearance of antibodies to a given antigen often occurs after several weeks, so the test result may be negative for a patient who has been bitten fairly recently. Also, keep in mind that other infections can show a false positive result. Although, the earlier we detect the antibodies in question and make a diagnosis, the sooner we can implement treatment, which is based on pharmacotherapy with antibiotics.

Lyme disease treatment

Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. The earlier Lyme disease is treated, the greater the chances of recovery.

Some people treated for Lyme disease may continue to have symptoms after treatment. The cause of these symptoms is currently unclear, but continued treatment with antibiotics

  • May produce undesirable side effects
  • Has not been shown to improve symptoms or disease outcomes
lyme disease symptoms
lyme disease symptoms

How to protect yourself from Lyme disease?

It is important to spray ourselves with a suitable insect repellent before any outing where we are at risk of being bitten by a tick – i.e. forest areas. In addition, it is a good idea to dress to cover your skin as much as possible from contact with ticks. However, when a bite occurs, it is important to remove it in the correct manner

lyme disease treatment
lyme disease treatment

Tick-borne encephalitis

Tick-borne encephalitis is an acute infectious disease caused by the tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBE virus) belonging to the family Flaviviridae and genus Flavivirus . TBE viruses belong to the group of Arthropod-Borne viruses , i.e. viruses transmitted by arthropods. In Europe, there are many species of ticks that can transmit TBE virus, but the most important is the tick of the genus Ixodes ricinus – the common tick.

Ticks are found all over the country. A privileged place for the occurrence of ticks is a moist environment, rich in vegetation.

In particular, ticks like places such as transition areas between two different types of vegetation, forest edges with bordering meadows, clearings, river and pond banks, copses with brush, as well as areas overgrown with ferns, blackberries, elderberries and hazel.

Humans are most often infected by a tick bite, but it should be remembered that not all ticks are infected and that not every tick bite carries the risk of TBE virus infection.

The incubation period of TBE is 7-14 days, but it can be extended to 28 days or shortened to 2 days.

The permanent consequences of the disease are:

  • Motor paralysis
  • Muscle wasting
  • Meningitis
  • Mental retardation
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Personality changes
  • Insomnia
  • Persistent headaches

IgM antibodies:

Laboratory marker of fresh infection, formed in the acute phase of TBE virus infection.

IgG class antibodies:

They appear in the patient’s blood a little later and their concentration increases rapidly during the course of the infection, reaching the highest titre in the 6th week of the disease and persisting until the end of life. Demonstration of a clear increase in the concentration of specific IgG antibodies (in a repeat examination carried out after two weeks) is a confirmation of an acute infectious disease.
After receiving the vaccination cycle, it is worth checking the post-vaccination immunity.

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