Prevention and Symptoms of Lymes Disease

November 12, 2012

Prevention and Symptoms of Lymes Disease

Lymes disease or Lyme disease is named after a Connecticut town, Old Lyme, which suffered from quite a lot of this disease back in the 1970s. But the disease was first written about in 1883, although it did not yet have a name. Lymes or Lyme disease is found in any nation with ticks, including America, Canada, China, Russia, Japan, Australia and most countries in Europe.. Lymes disease symptoms vary slightly depending on what country the patient was bitten in. Lymes disease symptoms varied so much in America from patient to patient that many Americans doubted that Lyme disease was a real condition but just a money making scheme put out by the medical and the pesticide industries. In 1986, the Lyme Disease Foundation was launched and has helped educate Americans and Canadians about Lymes disease symptoms and prevention. Early Symptoms The earliest Lymes disease symptoms mimic the flu and so are usually ignored. Symptoms include body aches, headaches, fever, shivering and swollen lymph glands. These symptoms should not be ignored by anyone recently bitten by a tick or who has recently spent time outdoors in areas known to be tick-infested. Tick bites are painless, so a tick can settle on a person, bite, feed and drop off without a person being aware of it. In 50% of Lyme disease patients around the world, a peculiar rash develops, sometimes called a “bulls-eye rash.” At first, the rash is red, round, rarely itchy but may feel warmer in comparison to the normal skin surrounding it. Within 2 weeks, the rash gets larger and starts fading so that it resembles a bulls-eye dart or archery target.

Later Symptoms If the disease has not been treated, the virus causing Lyme disease can lie dormant. Lymes disease symptoms can appear immediately, but often it waits weeks, months or even years before manifesting. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Arthritis-like stiffness, swelling and pain in the joints. This happens especially to North American victims.

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Moodiness and irritability

  • Stiff neck

  • Headache with sensitivity to light, which leads to nausea

  • Coordination problems similar to Parkinson¬ís disease. This happens especially to European patients.

Unfortunately, many of these later Lymes disease symptoms are similar to other diseases such as viral meningitis, rheumatoid arthritis or Parkinson’s disease. If the disease is still left untreated, it can lead to a variety of potentially lethal conditions such as dementia, heart disease and some cancers.

Prevention

In order to prevent Lyme disease, you need to prevent yourself from getting bit by a tick. The bacterium that causes the disease lives in tick stomachs and digestive juices. Ticks live in woodlands, swamps, marshes or areas with long grasses or ground-covering plants. Wear closed-toe shoes whenever going to these areas. Wear long pants to prevent ticks getting onto the legs. Spray tick repellent such as DEET or permethrin onto your clothes.

Keep your property mowed and free of brush, leaf piles or ground-covering plants that can encourage ticks to make a home.

Always check your clothes and yourself thoroughly for ticks just after you get home from a tick-infested area. Ticks often bite on the feet, ankles, legs or the scalp.

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