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Debunking Common Myths About Lyme Disease

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Debunking Common Myths About Lyme Disease

Internal Medicine | by Dr. Mahesh Kumar Chowdhury | Published on 16/06/2023



Introduction

Lyme disease is a prevalent tick-borne illness that has obtained relevant attention over the past few years. Unfortunately, with its ongoing significance, there are various myths and misconceptions that have also evolved. In this blog, we are aiming to burst some of the most common myths surrounding Lyme disease, separating fact from fiction and offering you the right information to assist you in better understanding this complex condition. 

If you experience any of the symptoms discussed in the write-up below linked to Lyme disease, make sure to consult one of the best multispeciality hospitals in Kolkata, The Calcutta Medical Research Institute. It has not only integrated the most experienced and professional doctors but also the latest technological advancements in the medical field. 

Kindly note that the blog is for informational purposes only and doesn’t rule out consulting the doctor.

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is an infectious illness that occurs because of the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is majorly transformed in humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. If this illness is not treated on time, then it can progress to more severe and dangerous symptoms, impacting the joints, heart, and nervous system. There is a need for prompt diagnosis and adequate antibiotic treatment to prevent complications linked to Lyme disease.

What are the primary signs and symptoms of Lyme disease?

There are various Lyme disease symptoms which include: 

  • A reddish rash or skin lesion is also referred to as erythema migraine. 
  • Fever 
  • Headache
  • Body and joint pains 
  • Stiff neck 
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Rash in multiple areas 
  • Facial muscles paralysis 
  • Heart block 
  • Abnormal feelings

What are the main causes of Lyme disease?

The life cycle of the Lyme disease-causing bacteria includes ticks and animals, mainly small mammals such as mice and deer. Here are some of the lyme causes reflecting how the transmission occurs: 

  • Tick bite: When an infected tick is attached to a person and keeps feeding itself on their blood, it begins transmitting the bacteria into the bloodstream. 
  • Bacterial infection: After the infection is inside the body, the bacteria starts moving from the tick bite area to other areas spreading through the bloodstream. 
  • Multiplication and dissemination: The bacteria leads to multiply and spread to several organs and tissues which include the nervous system, joints, heart, and skin.

How is Lyme disease diagnosed?

The healthcare provider will initiate the diagnosis depending on the symptoms, physical findings, and whether the patient has been in an area that is populated by infected ticks. The doctor will ensure the diagnosis by using a blood test. If the test is negative, then there is no need for another test. If it is positive, then a blood test is repeated again to confirm the diagnosis.

What are the options for Lyme disease treatment?

Usually, the options for Lyme disease treatment are antibiotics only and the length of treatment entirely depends on the infection stage. If this illness is treated sooner, then the results are quicker and recovery is fast. Another option is intravenous antibiotic or IV antibiotic which is given only when the infection has started to affect the nervous system, affecting the heart and causing arthritis. For more treatment options, it is recommended to consult your healthcare provider as usually, these are the two main options that help in treating Lyme disease.

Common Myths about Lyme Disease -

  • Myth 1: Lyme disease is only found in certain regions. Lyme disease can be found worldwide. It has been found in Europe, Asia, and other parts of North America. Ticks that carry Lyme disease can be discovered in several habitats, such as forests, grasslands, and even urban areas. It's important to be mindful of your geographic location.

 

  • Myth 2: A bullseye rash if you have Lyme disease. Contrary to popular belief, not all Lyme disease cases occur with a unique bullseye rash. It's essential to understand that the absence of a rash does not rule out Lyme disease. 

 

  • Myth 3: Lyme disease is only transmitted by ticks. As per the latest studies, potential modes of tick transmission are mosquitoes, fleas, and sexual contact as well. However, additional research is needed to completely understand these alternative transmission pathways. 

 

  • Myth 4: Lyme disease is easily diagnosed through standard laboratory tests. It can be challenging due to its comprehensive range of symptoms and the restrictions of present diagnostic tests. Medical history, physical evaluation, and blood tests are the only ways to diagnose Lyme disease at present. 

 

  • Myth 5: Lyme disease is incurable and causes chronic illness. It is incorrect to assume that all Lyme disease cases cause chronic illness. With early diagnosis and treatment, Lyme disease can easily be cured.

Conclusion

Lyme disease is an intricate disease surrounded by various myths and misconceptions. By debunking these myths and offering the right information, we aim to raise awareness and understanding of the disease through this blog. It is important to understand that diagnosing the condition at an early stage can be challenging so make sure to be mindful of the symptoms for on-time treatment. If you notice any symptoms, make sure to consult the healthcare professionals at CMRI for prompt action and treatment.

FAQs

Is Lyme disease curable?

Yes, Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics and intravenous antibiotics. 

Can Lyme disease go undetected?

It can go undetected if proper actions like medical history, physical assessment, and blood tests are not initiated.