Lyme Disease and Your Family Doctor in Maplewood MN

Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia Burgdorferi that accesses the human body through the bite of different types of ticks, which they acquired by biting other animals. Ticks can be found, especially in summer, in wooded areas, fields of tall grass, or on pets and livestock, although some geographic areas have more than others. Be sure to check yourself and your children for ticks and bites if you have been outside where ticks are found. If you have been bitten, it is best to consult your Family Doctor in Maplewood MN. Lyme disease, first diagnosed in 1977 in the United States, has three development phases, each with specific symptoms.

Stages

First stage

During the first stage of infection, the trauma is localized where the bite has occurred and will likely have redness and inflammation of the skin. This phase may also have other symptoms of infection:

* Fever

* Chills

* Malaise

* Headache

* Joint and muscle pains

* Stiff neck

Second stage

The spread of the infection causes new symptoms, which may begin weeks or months after being bitten by a tick. These symptoms have greater relevance:

* Numbness or pain caused by nerve involvement

* Weakness or paralysis of facial muscles

* Heart rhythm disturbances

* Shortness of breath

* Chest pain

Third stage

The infection has spread throughout the body, and the symptoms begin to appear months or even years after the tick bite:

* Muscle and joint pain

* Inflammation of the joints

* Abnormal muscle movements

* Muscle weakness, with numbness and tingling

* Cognitive impairment

* Speech difficulties

* Vision problems

Treatment

It is important to note that most people who suffer from a tick bite do not develop Lyme disease. Remember that ticks must be infected with the bacteria and be attached to the skin for at least 24-36 hours. It is vital to keep the tick and test it for the pathogens that can lead to tick-borne illnesses. If the testing is negative, you can rest easy knowing that disease will not come from the bite. Be sure to monitor and keep track of the area for at least 30 days to see if swelling or redness occurs.  

Concerning treatment, your Family Doctor in Maplewood, MN can help. Different types and courses of antibiotic therapy can be prescribed, depending on the stage of the disease and the severity of symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment of Lyme Disease make all the difference. All medical treatments are specific to the patient. If a tick has bitten your child, contact Pediatric & Young Adult Medicine Today.

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