Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by the bite of the small mouse or deer tick. Symptoms are fever, body ache, and rash. Later, symptoms like irregular heart beats, convulsions or arthritis may develop. This disease can cause serious problems, but it is rarely fatal. Any stage of the disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics.
The first stage of the disease begins from 3 to 30 days after the tick bite. The characteristic rash can be flat or raised and red. There is a ringed border with a pale center. The size may be ¾ inch to 26 inches across. Later other rashes may appear accompanied by fatigue, fever and headache.
Stage two develops after a brief period of well being. Then the headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting , fatigue, memory loss and loss of concentration may occur. Facial nerve paralysis, irregular heart beat can also develop in this stage. In stage three, the last stage, weeks, months or years may pass before arthritis appears.
There are no accurate tests to detect Lyme disease in stage one. The combination of flu symptoms, rash and tick bite are necessary for diagnosis. The later stages can be more accurately tested. Treatment with common antibiotics is generally successful.
To prevent Lyme Disease wear light colored clothing so the tick may be easily seen. Wear long pants tucked into your socks. Remove ticks promptly. Use tick repellents containing 30% DEET or 0.5% Pyrethrins. Tick collars for pets are recommended. This tick is not native to our area so unless you have traveled to an area where it is common, you should not be concerned about Lyme Disease.