Lyme Disease: How Ticks are Dangerous

The pediatrician conducts an educational program for parents, what is Lyme disease. If you have not heard anything about it, it does not mean that this information is not relevant to you. Only one can put you or your child at risk. Therefore, it is important to know the signs of Lyme disease.

Lyme disease: symptoms, treatment, prevention

Lyme disease (or tick-borne borreliosis) is an acute infectious disease of a bacterial nature that affects a number of body systems and often takes a chronic course.

The incidence of tick-borne borreliosis is not high, adults are sick more often and more severely than children. Lviv, Volyn and Odessa oblasts are the endemic zones in Ukraine for this disease, however, individual cases of the disease are found throughout our country.

Read also:Where to go if the tick was bitten: trauma centers in Kiev

How does the infection occur?

Infection occurs by the bite of a tick infected with borrelia. Susceptibility to borreliosis is high, depends on the state of the child’s immune system - not all bitten by an infected tick develop borreliosis.

What happens in the body with Lyme disease

The disease can be divided into 3 stages:

Stage 1:localized form - erythema migrans, occurring within a few days or weeks;

Stage 2:a common form of infection with damage to the nervous system, heart, joints, occurring over several weeks and months with intermittent symptoms;

Stage 3:late stage, which begins a year or more after the onset of the disease.

Lyme Disease: Symptoms

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Common infectious manifestations (corresponding to stage 1 of Lyme disease):

1.At the site of tick suction occurs stain. On average, after 7–10 days (from 1 to 35 days), the redness spreads peripherally and forms erythema with a diameter of 10–15 cm.

2.Erythema can be in any part of the body, but more often it occurs: on the thighs, buttocks or in the axillary areas.

3.The outer border of the erythema is usually bright red, and the central part is pale.

4.Most patients indicate discomfort in the area of ​​erythema, some - pain and burning.

5.The erythema ring is usually warm to the touch.

6.Often there are multiple erythema, they are smaller than the primary and are the result of the spread of bacteria, rather than multiple bites of ticks.

7.Erythema may be accompanied by an increase in regional lymph nodes, malaise, weakness, muscle pain, pain in the joints, an increase in body temperature up to 39-40 degrees.

Neurological and cardiac complications (corresponding to Stage 2 of Lyme disease):

1. From the nervous systemthe most common are serous meningitis, neuritis of the cranial nerves and radiculoneuritis, which usually occur at week 4 of the disease. In children, meningeal disorders (headache, nausea, vomiting, photophobia, pain during eye movement, neck stiffness) dominate other types of neurological disorders.

2. Violations of the heartare observed from about the 5th week of the appearance of erythema, they include conduction disorders, including complete cardiac blockade, myocarditis, pericarditis, and enlargement of the heart. The duration of such violations is small - from several days to 6 weeks. Patients feel an increase or decrease in heart rate, accompanied by unpleasant sensations in the heart, dizziness.

3. Lesions of the joints:arthritis usually begins acutely (usually at the end of summer - beginning of autumn, regardless of previous skin manifestations) in one or several joints, more often in the knee and other large joints.The average duration of inflammatory changes in one joint is small (about 8 days), but sometimes increases to 3 months.

Read also:The child was bitten by a tick: what it threatens, and what to do

Lyme Disease: Diagnosis

Most often for the diagnosis of a clinical picture in combination with an indication of the tick bite, preceding the disease. But in cases of a non-typical picture, when there is no erythema (about 10% of cases) or the patient denies the tick bite (about 15% of cases), serological and microbiological methods of testing for the presence of an agent and antibodies to it are used. Notice that

  • Igmpeak at 3-6 week of illness;
  • Iggappear in the blood only after 6 weeks of illness.

Lyme Disease: Treatment

The basis of treatment is antibiotic therapy. Use cephalosporins, penicillins. The duration of the course depends on the severity of the disease and is 2-4 weeks. Syndromic therapy is performed if necessary.

Lyme disease prevention

1. Prevention of Lyme disease, first of all, is protection against ticks:

  • wearing light clothing;
  • inspection during and after walks in the forest, park;
  • use of repellents.


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