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Things you need to know about lyme disease

February 7, 2017 - alynchi

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Introduction

Animals are warming to humans when they are kept as pets. It is believed that some pets are very emotional and understand the various types of human feeling. Of all these pets, dogs and cats are believed to have great understanding of human feelings; these animals understand when you are sad and when you are happy, they can tell when you are hale and when you are sick. It is a natural phenomenon.

However, do you know that these pets can harbour a carrier of some diseases? Dogs, especially, are known to be prone to ticks when not properly groomed. These ticks are what are known as vectors. Just as mosquitoes are carriers of malarial parasites, these ticks carry about, in their system, bacteria that can cause life threatening disease called lyme.

 

Lyme disease, which is also known as lyme borrieliosis, is an inflammatory disease which is transmitted to humans through tick. The most common sign of the infection is a red patch on the skin which can expand, or an elevated skin in dark people which is darker due to a condition known as erythema {blood clot under the skin}.  This patch indicates the site of the bite. The redness or swelling begins about a week after the bite. The rash is typically neither painful nor itchy.

Causes

The disease is actually caused by the bacteria borrielia afzii and borrielia garinii, most especially in Europe.

 Signs and symptoms

These signs and symptoms include fever, headache and feeling tired. If untreated, symptoms may include loss of the ability to move one or both sides of the face, joint pains, and severe headaches with neck stiffness, or heart palpitations, among others. Months to years later, repeated episodes of joint pain and swelling may occur. Occasionally, people develop shooting pains or tingling in their arms and legs.

Mode of transmission

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected ticks of the Ixodes genus. Usually, the tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours before the bacteria can spread. In North America, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Borrelia mayonii are the cause.

In Europe and Asia, the bacteria Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii are also causes of the disease. The disease does not appear to be transmissible between people, by other animals, or through food.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based upon a combination of symptoms, history of tick exposure, and possibly testing for specific antibodies in the blood. Blood tests are often negative in the early stages of the disease.Testing of individual ticks is not typically useful.

 

Prevention and treatment

Prevention includes efforts to prevent tick bites such as by wearing long pants. Using pesticides to reduce tick numbers may also be effective. Ticks can be removed using tweezers. If the removed tick was full of blood, a single dose of doxycycline may be used to prevent development of infection, but is not generally recommended since development of infection is rare.

If an infection develops, a number of antibiotics are effective, including doxycycline, amoxicillin, and cefuroxime. Treatment is usually for two or three weeks. Some people develop a fever and muscle and joint pains from treatment which may last for one or two days. In those who develop persistent symptoms, long-term antibiotic therapy has not been found to be useful.

General advice

For those who have pets, please endeavour to visit your veterinary doctor for your pets’ routine checks. It is also advisable to make sure you keep your pets house/cage clean. If you, Para venture, contact this disease through your pets or by visit to an unhygienic environment, please see your healthcare professional for proper treatment, and make sure you avoid self-medication.

References

“Clinical practice. Lyme disease.” (PDF). The New England Journal of Medicine. 370 (18): 1724–31. doi:10.1056/NEJMcp1314325. PMID 24785207.

“Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease”. cdc.gov. January 11, 2013. Archived from the original on Jan 16, 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2015.

Aucott JN (2015). “Posttreatment Lyme disease syndrome”. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. 29 (2): 309–23. doi:10.1016/j.idc.2015.02.012. PMID 25999226.

Johnson RC (1996). “Borrelia”. In Baron S et al. Baron’s Medical Microbiology (4th ed.). Univ of Texas Medical Branch. ISBN 0-9631172-1-1. PMID 21413339.

“Lyme disease transmission”. cdc.gov. January 11, 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2015.

Pritt, BS; Mead, PS; Johnson, DK; Neitzel, DF; Respicio Kingry, LB; Davis, JP; Schiffman, E; Sloan, LM; Schriefer, ME; Replogle, AJ; Paskewitz, SM; Ray, JA; Bjork, J; Steward, CR; Deedon, A; Lee, X; Kingry, LC; Miller, TK; Feist, MA; Theel, ES; Patel, R; Irish, CL; Petersen, JM (5 February 2016). “Identification of a novel pathogenic Borrelia species causing Lyme borreliosis with unusually high spirochaetaemia: a descriptive study.”. The Lancet. Infectious diseases. 16: 556–564. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(15)00464-8. PMID 26856777.

 

 

alynchi

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