Conditions

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease - circular rash

Lyme disease can be passed on to humans by tick bites. Ticks are small parasites, often found in woodland, which feed off the blood of mammals. They are normally red-brown colour, but become paler as they feed. The most common symptom of Lyme disease is a red circular rash that looks like a bull’s eye which develops around the bite mark. Other symptoms include tiredness, fever and blurred vision.

When the infected tick bites it usually releases the bacteria after a period of 36 hours, though, in some cases, transmission can occur prior to 24 hours. Though tick bites are hard to notice because the bite does not cause pain, remove a tick as soon as you spot it to prevent infection. This is relatively easy to do with a pair of tweezers: steadily pull the tick away from the skin avoiding squeezing or twisting the tick. It is best to remove all of the tick, but if the mouth parts remain in the skin, don’t be alarmed. Though this can cause local infection, you are not at risk of Lyme disease when the tick’s body is not attached to the mouth part. For a detailed description of the best method to remove ticks, universally accepted by all disease prevention authorities, visit: BADA-UK. It is important to remove ticks correctly, as incorrect tick-removal techniques can increase the risks of disease transmission at any time by inducing regurgitation of the tick’s saliva and gut contents.

If Lyme disease is diagnosed in its early stages, within the first 30 days, it can be treated successfully with 2 – 3 week course of antibiotics. Diagnosis is made through two blood tests which look for antibodies fighting the bacteria in the blood. If the disease is left untreated for many months it can lead to arthritis, nervous system problems and meningitis. So it is very important to see a GP if you suspect your child has been bitten.

The most common symptom of Lyme disease is the Erythema Migrans (Bull’s-eye rash), but not all patients present with this. In fact, of the last available figures for laboratory-confirmed cases, only 32% presented with the rash. As sometimes rashes can be hidden under body hair or hair on the scalp, it is important that anyone who develops flu-like symptoms or sudden ill health following a tick bite should visit their doctor for advice.

You can reduce the risk of being bitten by wearing long sleeved clothing, tucking trousers into socks, and wearing hats during any activity in woodland or heathland areas. Insect repellent can also be used as a deterrent, and make sure to check your kid thoroughly for any ticks after any countryside activity.

For more information on Lyme disease, visit the following sites:
BADA-UK
Lyme Disease Action
British Lyme Disease Foundation

What the Men in White Coats Say

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My daughter was initially treated for a number of different illnesses,the doctors didn't know what was wrong but they knew it was really serious.She became paralysed from her neck down in a matter of days and remained like that for 8 months,she was put in an induced coma for 4 months and put on a ventilator as she could no longer breathe for herself,she was in hospital for a whole year,infection after infection,she was seriously ill.....but once she was given the right treatment once they knew it was Lyme Disease she began to improve and she learned how to walk again.It has been a long hard road to recovery but she's doing really well now.It was a really terrifying experience for all of us especially my daughter,we will never ever forget it.





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I moved into a bungalow 2 years ago and had a bite . And my husband and myself decided to get council in and spray the rooms,, in the mean time I had found a black insect in r bedroom and sent it 2 the counsel ,,, who to days later rang me and said he was 90% sure it was a tick.i have since been bitten in bed ,,, and am now beside myself ,.. Am a 64 year old pensioner who is to embarrassed to tell any one ,, I had more pest control round spraying ( charging the earth) saying I have mossy in the house , my husband and myself never got r hands out of our heads with the itching ,, my legs r covered in a rash ,,, what can Ido, it's all making me ill





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My son was treated with antibiotics following a tick bite in the New Forest, however the type of antibiotics he was given was not the recommended type. We discovered this when he went onto become very ill with neuroborreliosis. Despite trips to the GP with a very sick little boy it was an optician who identified the pressure on his brain and rushed him to hospital where he was treated for lymes intravenously following a lumber puncture. Thankfully his eye sight is restored. In my experience GPS know very little about Lymes, you must do the research yourself, trust your instincts, caught early it is treatable. Check with your GP they are up todate with the latest information.





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After 12 months of no diagnosis re cardiovascular symptoms and pericardial effusion, I webt abroad for a medical consultation. Within 2 weeks I had a positive test result for Lyme disease. In the meantime I had developed a variety of strange symptptoms, all consistent with Lyme. I was referred to Infectious Diseases and after 6 months (!) after the first appointment, I received IV antibiotics for 4 weeks. Soon after treatment I started to go downhill rapidly. ID claims that I am cured and must have something else or just chronic Lyme. In my desparation I went abroad and consulted a Lyme specialist. A blood test revealed active infection and a co-infection. I am now being treated and have to fund this treatment myself. I feel totally let down by the NHS.





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Lymes should be treated until the symptoms have gone away for at least a month(I would do longer). Never accept that the symptoms take a while to go away, IT'S WRONG! I went through this too, 14 months of antibiotics after a year and a half of misdiagnosis. My treatment ended three years ago. I can function now. GET TREATED EARLY AND DON'T LET THEM STOP THE TREATMENT UNTIL THE SYMPTOMS ARE GONE! What is Chronic Lyme, they are spirochetes and they multiply! I hope the treatment has/is working for you.

I was bitten by a tick while walking The West Highland Way. I believe it to be in the nymph stage. The tick was not engorged but around the bite was a red rash about 2-3" in circumference. The tick was removed(maybe the head was still in) and the area washed and treated with a topical antibiotic. The redness seemed to clear up leaving a small dark purple spot where I had been bitten. Symptoms were headaches and sore throat. As we were traveling I did not pay it much mind. Upon returning to Canada I noticed the area around the tick bite began to blister I went to a doctor who gave me doxycycline for 7 days. It was finally starting to clear. I have had a test for lymes done which came back negative although in the past couple of weeks after the antibiotics I have had joint pain and heart palpatations. I returned to my doc who does not seem to think I need any further treatment. I normally do not have headaches, joint pain or any heart problems. Any ideas what I should do from here? The symptoms seem to be subsiding but these came on after the antibiotics.





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Curious to know how you got on. I suspect you may have caught recurring fever which is in the Lyme s disease family. It to is caught from tick bites.

I am confused, got bitten in July, swelled up in August, suffering severe fatigue, joint and muscle pain, cramps, dry eyes, painful neck and wrists. Doctors said its nothing, finally got to see a private rheumatologist who suggested could be Lyme disease , he has now telephoned and says test shows I might have been exposed to the virus, ! Have I got it or not? Now being referred to hospital for infectious diseases, scared as I have been I'll for quite a while now, at the moment I can't go t work. Any advice?





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This all started 5 months ago.I started getting some symptoms.Heavy legs,tingling,ringing ears,stiff neck,headache,sensitive to light,rashes,toenails falling off,bones clicking,and hundreds more.I registered to my local gp.And they diagnosed me as being depressed.I started taking the tablets to no improvement was getting worse.I started researching my symptoms online and kept coming across Lymes disease.I spoke to my mum about it and she was like that's funny your aunt caught that last year.This then rang bells as i was staying at my aunts for 5 months in the countryside.I went back to my gp they said no your fine just depressed.I said its a bit more look at the pictures.They said rashes and bone clicking is normal.Sent me to a psychiatrist he asked what was wrong.I showed him the pictures and videos and he was in shock! Sent a letter to my gp that they carry out further investigations immediately.I went back to my gp.They said jordan how many times have we told you your depressed.My mum had to use a credit card and take me to a private hospital.Straight away on symptoms and the fact my aunt had it and that i was in a lymes area they diagnosed me on symptoms.My tests came back 2weeks later positive lymes disease.That cost my mum 2 thousand pound for something i knew 5 months back.I have improved on 4weeks of antibiotics i can walk now and talk but have trouble finding words and memory.I went back to my gp armed with these results and they said i don't have lymes disease and are not treating me.Im down to my last bottle of antibiotics.I went back to the private hospital and they said they think the infection is deep in my central nervous system and that i need IV.My mum hasn't got another 3grand.If this disease doesn't get treated properly it will slowly cripple me and just take over.I'm stuck with a rare disease that nhs don't have a clue about and no one is helping me.





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I sympathise entirely. Unfortunately, the NHS doesnt recognise "post lymes disease" as existing, even though it is well documented globally. I have been fighting red tape for 3 years now to receive the appropriate treatment to no avail. The irony is, that with all the disability payouts to ease the symptoms it would be far cheaper to simply supply the long-term antibiotics needed to keep the disease under control. Maybe an action group or something is needed?

If you completely removed the tick with tweezers, and removed it properly, without twisting or harming it, and haven't left the head in the body, things should be OK. At any rate, anytime anyone removes a tick they should see a doctor (preferably one knowledgeable about Lyme disease which can be few and far between).





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Im 10 weeks pregnant and was bitten by a deer tick in USA on 18th May. redound and removed the tick about 12 hours later and contined with holiday. Now I have a small flaring red rash at the site, not a bulls eye though. No other symptoms. How worried should I be?





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Dr Christian today (1 April) told the group that Lyme disease wasa US phenomenon and moved the sticker from the UK placed as a 'wrong' answer by a guest on the programme yet UK residents should be aware they can get Lyme disease at home! Bad TV mistake - it is a serious disease and even GPs need to learn this. I had a French zoology student working with me last year who had a serious problem with this despite knowing about the issue - her GP didn't believe her and it became a hospital issue because she wan't believed. She picked it up (fromticks feeding on deer) in the west of Ireland.





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Content supplied by NHS Choices

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread to human by infected ticks. Ticks are small, spider-shaped insects that feed on the blood of mammals, including humans. Read More »