Medical Definition of Lyme disease
An acute inflammatory disease that is usually characterized initially by the skin lesion erythema migrans and by fatigue, fever, and chills and if left untreated may later manifest itself in cardiac and neurological disorders, joint pain, and arthritis and that is caused by a spirochete of the genus Borrelia (B. burgdorferi) transmitted by the bite of a tick especially of the genus Ixodes (I. scapularis synonym I. dammini in the eastern and midwestern United States, I. pacificus especially in some parts of the Pacific coastal states of the United States, and I. ricinus in Europe)
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?
Early symptoms of Lyme disease involve:
- A rash that looks like a bull’s eye ( scientific name: erythema migrans)
- Muscle and joint aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
According to the CDC, symptoms can start between 3 to 30 days after the tick bite (average is about 7 days). The rash expands gradually and can reach up to 12 inches. or in some cases even more. It can also feel warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful.
Later signs and symptoms:
- Severe headaches and neck stiffness
- Rashes on other parts of the body
- Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, especially in the knees.
- Loss of muscle tone
- Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
- Heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat
- Dizziness or shortness of breath
- Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or the feet
- Short-term memory problems
Treatment of Lyme disease by antibiotics
Most people with Lyme disease recover completely with appropriate antibiotic treatment. For those who develop syndromes after their infection is treated, pain medication may provide symptomatic relief.
Stops the growth of or kills bacteria.
Stops growth of or kills specific bacteria.
Nonsteroidal anti-Inflammatory drug
Relieves pain, decreases inflammation and reduces fever.