Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere. It is an infectious disease caused by at least three species of bacteria. The disease is named after the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme in Connecticut after researchers investigated why unusually large numbers of children were being diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Further investigations resulted in the discovery that tiny deer ticks infected with a spiral-shaped bacterium or spirochete (which was later named Borrelia burgdorferi) were responsible for the outbreak of arthritis in Lyme. Ordinary “wood ticks” and “dog ticks” do not carry the infection.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease:
In the early stages of Lyme disease, you may experience flu-like symptoms like:
- Stiff neck
- Swollen Lyphn nodes
- Muscle aches
- Joint Pain
You also may experience a large, expanding skin rash around the area of the tick bite. In more advanced disease, nerve problems and arthritis, especially in the knees, may occur. Also common is erythma migrans, a telltale rash that starts as a small red spot that expands forming a circular, triangular, or oval-shaped rash. Lyme disease can also affect the nervous system, causing symptoms such as stiff neck and severe headache (meningitis), temporary paralysis of facial muscles. Other changes such as memory loss, difficulty with concentration and mood or sleeping habits have also been associated with Lyme Disease. Less commonly, Lyme disease can result in eye inflammation and severe fatigue, although none of these problems is likely to appear without other Lyme disease symptoms being present.