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About Everything Wiki » Health » How to prevent tick-borne borreliosis from ruining your life

How to prevent tick-borne borreliosis from ruining your life

29 May 2023, 13:56, parser
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Ticks are most active in late spring and early summer. It is during this period that it is easiest to catch borreliosis (aka Lyme disease).

What is tick-borne borreliosis and how is it dangerous

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection. Bacteria — borrelia — enter the human body from the salivary glands of a tick embedded in the skin. Fortunately, not everyone, but only the ixodic one.

This family is generally extremely unpleasant. In addition to Lyme disease, ixodes carry tick-borne encephalitis and some other diseases: babesiosis, tick fever. Therefore, it is advisable to take the parasite pulled out of the body to the laboratory to find out if it does not belong to a dangerous family. However, the analysis will not greatly affect further actions: as a rule, prevention begins before the results appear.

And even if the tick is ixodic, the chance to stay healthy remains.

Not every ixodic tick carries borrelia.

But if it is still contagious, the prospects are unpleasant. Tick-borne borreliosis is dangerous with complications Lyme disease / Mayo Clinic , which appear several weeks or even months after the bite. These include:

  • Joint problems. Bacteria trapped in the body cause inflammation of the joints. At first it is manifested by pain and swelling. Over time, the situation worsens until the development of arthritis and forced restriction of mobility.
  • Neurological problems. Numbness and weakness in the extremities, impaired motor activity, temporary paralysis of one side of the face, inflammation of the meninges (meningitis) — these are just a short list of neurological complications.
  • Cardiovascular problems, in particular severe arrhythmia.
  • Inflammation of the liver (hepatitis).
  • Inflammation of the eyes.
  • Severe fatigue.

These complications can be deadly. Therefore, it is very important not to miss Lyme disease and not to refuse treatment.

How to understand that you have tick-borne borreliosis

The first sign of a possible infection is actually a tick bite. If you are lucky to remove an arthropod and take it to the laboratory — great: they will dispel or, on the contrary, strengthen your suspicions. But if it was not possible to dissect the bloodsucker in the laboratory, start carefully monitoring the skin and well-being.

1. Keep an eye on the bite site

A red convex spot and swelling, like a mosquito bite, is normal. Such a skin reaction, even if the swelling is large, passes in a few days and is not a sign of borreliosis.

An obvious symptom occurs at the site of the bite after 3-30 days.

Erythema. Photo: AnastasiaKopa / Shutterstock

This is the so—called erythema - a red spot surrounded by white and red rims. If you find it on the skin, contact your therapist urgently: you have tick-borne borreliosis.

However, not everyone infected with Lyme disease marks such a target. So other signs are also important.

2. Observe how you feel

In Lyme disease, a few days after the bite, appear Lyme disease / Mayo Clinic :

  • fever and chills, at first glance causeless, because there are no traditional signs of SARS like a runny nose, cough, sore throat;
  • weakness, increased fatigue;
  • headaches;
  • pain, ache in the body;
  • slight difficulties with neck movements;
  • swollen lymph nodes.

The presence of these symptoms does not say for sure about borreliosis. Perhaps the fever and aches are caused by other causes. But if you observe two or more signs in yourself and at the same time remember that you have recently been bitten by a tick, be sure to consult a doctor.

Consult a doctor, even if the symptoms have appeared and disappeared.

This also happens Lyme disease / Mayo Clinic in borreliosis. The disease continues to spread quietly in order to seriously ruin your life one day.

How to treat tick-borne borreliosis

To begin with, it is necessary that the doctor make a diagnosis. Unfortunately, this may take time. If there is no obvious sign of erythema, Lyme disease is confirmed by a blood test. That's just it will have to wait, because antibodies to the disease are produced only a few weeks after the bite.

If the diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor will prescribe you antibiotics. Which ones, depends on your age and the prescription of the bite, as well as the severity of the symptoms. As a rule, is used Lyme disease / Mayo Clinic doxycycline, amoxicillin, cefuroxime, however, other options are possible. In difficult cases, when the disease has already affected the nervous system, antibiotics are prescribed intravenously.

Most often borreliosis is completely curable. To do this, you just need to start therapy on time.

But even after successful therapy, the so-called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome can develop. It includes weakness, increased fatigue, regular pain in muscles and joints. Scientists don't know why this happens.

Why it is impossible not to treat tick-borne borreliosis

At first glance, the question sounds strange. This is if you don't know how insidious Lyme disease is.

Sometimes, after the detection of erythema, a person cannot immediately get to a therapist. Meanwhile, the erythema disappears, and the remaining symptoms manifest themselves so implicitly that the bitten decides: "I recovered myself!" And already consciously does not go to the doctor. This is a huge mistake.

Borrelia, without even making themselves felt, continue to multiply in the body, slowly affecting various organs and systems.

Problems with joints, heart, nervous system are gradually increasing. The patient, who has already forgotten about the bite, runs uselessly between a therapist, a cardiologist, a neurologist, a rheumatologist, who also do not understand what is happening. And if one day some particularly attentive doctor does establish the main cause of the diseases, it may be too late: borrelia will so corrode the body that it will be impossible to cure a person.

Hence an important rule: if there is the slightest suspicion of borreliosis, a check is necessary. And if the fears are confirmed, treatment is mandatory.

How to protect yourself from tick-borne borreliosis

Lyme disease is one of those that is easier to prevent than to treat. Therefore, remember important safety rules.

  1. Dress properly when going to nature. You should be wearing a long-sleeved jacket, loose pants and high shoes. Tuck your pants into shoes or socks if you're wearing sneakers. T—shirts and shirts - in trousers. It's good if the clothes are light and plain: it's easier to notice a tick on such a background. A headdress is required.
  2. Use repellents. Those containing permethrin and the chemical compound diethyltoluamide (DETA) are most effective against ticks. Just spray them on your clothes, not on your skin.
  3. Get into the habit of examining yourself and others. At least once every half hour, carefully examine the clothes and exposed areas of the body: are there any ticks on them.
  4. Do not climb into bushes and tall grass. Such places are preferred by ticks.
  5. After returning home, wash your clothes at a temperature of at least 60 ° C. Mite larvae may remain on it, which are difficult to notice.
  6. Immediately after a visit to nature, take a shower and bathe the children. During the procedure, carefully inspect and feel the body, especially the scalp under the hair and the area under the knees. If the tick is stuck, it is necessary to remove it as soon as possible. The longer it stays on the skin, the higher the risk of getting sick. Lyme infection is unlikely if the tick is attached for less than 36-48 hours.
  7. Take antibiotics for prevention if your doctor prescribes them to you within 72 hours after the bite.
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