Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by a spirochete known as Borrelia burgdorferi. It is a spiral-shaped bacterium that replicates within the body with the ability to evade the immune system, causing Lyme disease. Lyme disease is more commonly seen during the spring and summer seasons. The rate of Lyme disease has increased since 2009, but most of the cases are under-reported due to misdiagnosis of the disease.
Lyme disease is not an immediate life-threatening situation, but yet it is a pretty important thing to know how to handle the disease.
How can you remove a tick that is attached to your body?
If a tick is attached to your body, you have 24 hours to remove it. If the tick is attached for less than 24 hours, then the chance of you developing Lyme disease is very small. These deer ticks are tiny black-legged ticks. They are so tiny, that they are the size of a small sesame seed; so small to even notice them on your body.
You can remove these ticks using your hand, but you have to be very careful to remove the entire tick including its head. If the body is still in contact with the head, use tweezers to remove the head but make sure that you do not squeeze it. The reason behind this is that the bacteria may not have been released yet into the blood. The bacteria is said to be in the gastric juices of these ticks, so if you squeeze their heads, the juices will be injected into your blood. Therefore, great care should be taken when you remove the tick.
Once you remove the tick from the skin, wash the area well with soap and clean using an alcohol swab. Soon after, apply some topical antibiotic over the bitten area.
Consult a doctor as soon as you see that a tick has been feeding on you. Your doctor will prescribe you with doxycycline 300 mg to be taken orally as a single dose. This antibiotic will reduce your chances of developing Lyme disease. However, you still have to be cautious since there is still some risk of contracting Lyme disease. Therefore, be vigilant and watch out for the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease over the next few weeks.
One very common sign of Lyme disease is the bull’s-eye rash. This rash has a red center surrounded by a red circular ring with a small gap of normal skin in between. It has an appearance of a target. If you develop this sign, consult a doctor as early as possible. However, not everyone with Lyme disease will show this sign, therefore, it is important that you learn about the other symptoms of Lyme disease. Most often, Lyme disease shows flu-like symptoms such as fever, general malaise, and muscle pain.
Carefully check your entire body after a walk in the woods and be vigilant about the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease. The earlier it is detected and treated, the better the outcome.