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Lyme Disease

 

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by certain tick bites.

Causes

  • Bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi

Symptoms

  • Circular red skin rash (erythema migrans)
  • Swollen joints
  • Flu-like symptoms (swollen lymph nodes, headache, muscle ache, etc.)
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Chest pain
  • Bell’s palsy

Treatment

  • Oral or intravenous antibiotics
  • Pain medication
  • Arthrocentesis to remove fluid from the joints

Prevention

  • Avoid tick bites when visiting tick prone areas
  • Wear long pants, long sleeves, caps and closed shoes to avoid ticks when moving in bushy areas with high grass
  • Spray insect repellents containing DEET on exposed skin parts to avoid ticks
  • Examine children and pets for ticks and remove them promptly