Lyme Disease

WHAT IS LYME DISEASE?

Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is a bacterial infection that is most commonly transmitted by ticks. It is caused by a spirochete, which is corkscrew-shaped bacterium called Borrelia Burgdorferi. Lyme disease is also classified as a zoonosis, because it is transmitted to humans from ticks that carry the disease.

HOW IS IT TRANSMITTED?

Lyme disease is most commonly transmitted to humans via nymphal stage ticks. Due to the small size of nymphs – about the size of a poppy seed – they are able to remain undetected and feed off of a host for longer periods. Ticks typically feed on deer which generally do transmit the Lyme disease spirochetes. However, in areas with low deer population they will feed on small mammals and birds that may be infected. Ticks that have fed on animals that carry the Lyme disease bacterium can then feed on human hosts.

WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS?

Early Lyme disease may include flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, sweats, muscle aches, fatigue, nausea, and joint pain. A bull’s-eye shaped rash is considered to be a characteristic of Lyme disease and some patients have experienced Bell’s Palsy. Although the rash is a dependable indication of potential Lyme disease, many patients develop a different rash or no rash at all.

If early Lyme disease goes undiagnosed, untreated, or if treatment is inadequate, it may become late-stage or chronic Lyme disease. With chronic or late stage the disease may spread to any part of the body and affect any body system. The list of symptoms for chronic Lyme disease is extensive and in many cases the symptoms present in other diseases. This has led to patients being misdiagnosed prior to being diagnosed with Lyme disease.

HOW IS IT TREATED AND WHERE CAN I RECEIVE CARE?

Lyme disease is a very controversial topic in regards to treatment. With such wide ranging symptoms, drastic differences in early and late stage Lyme disease, and a medical societal divide in opinions, treatment is best decided between the doctor and the patient.

Ocala Infectious Disease and Wound Center is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to all of our patients! We are available to educate, treat, and help those afflicted with Lyme disease get back to living the life they want to live!