Lyme disease is a disease caused by an infection. It
affects the skin, then the joints, then the nervous
system, and eventually other organs if it is not treated.
Lyme disease is associated with ticks, but ticks don’t
actually cause the disease. The disease is caused by
a kind of bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. This
particular bacteria is found in certain wild
animals, including mice and deer. When a tick bites
these animals, it gets the bacteria from them. Then if it
leaves the animal and bites you, it can transfer the
bacteria to you through its bite. People should be
careful if they are in areas where these ticks are
(generally damp, wooded areas) and should examine
themselves for ticks once they leave the area.
It can be hard to diagnose Lyme disease because
many of its symptoms look like those that occur with
other diseases. Usually the first symptom of Lyme
disease is a rash which spreads from the site of the
tick bite. The rash usually appears a week or two after
the tick bite. The person may also feel joint pains or
general achiness, chills, fever and headache. Later
there may be other rashes, a stiff neck, a feeling of
paralysis in the face, tingling or numbness in the arms
and legs, headache, sore throat and severe fatigue. In
the late stage of untreated Lyme disease, people may
experience arthritis (pain and swelling) of one or two
large joints, brain problems such as
disorientation, short term memory loss, mental quot;fogquot;
and numbness in the hands or feet.
People with Lyme disease should take
antibiotics, sometimes for several weeks.
Researchers are working on a vaccine to
prevent Lyme disease, but it has been made
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