Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria spread by infected ticks. Most people who have had a tick bite do not get Lyme disease. It’s important to see your doctor if you have a tick attached that you can’t remove.
There are two types of ticks that can spread Lyme disease. Deer ticks in the Northeastern and Midwest, U.S., and Western black-legged ticks along the Pacific coast.
Remove ticks as soon as you see them. Infected ticks usually don’t spread the disease until they have been attached to at least 36 hours. One sign of Lyme disease is a round, red rash that spreads at the site of a tick bite. The rash can get very large. Flu-like symptoms are also very common- tiredness, headaches, sore muscles and joints, and a fever.
- Swelling and joint pain
- Tingling and numbness in the hands, feet, and back
- Lack of energy
- Trouble focusing
- Poor memory
- Weakness or paralysis in your face muscles
A blood test will diagnose Lyme disease. The main treatment is antibiotics. These medicines usually cure Lyme disease within 3 weeks of starting the treatment.
written by: Carolyn, RN; Health Director, Woods Adult Day Services