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What Is Lyme Disease? How To Protect Yourself And Prevent An Infection

What Is Lyme Disease? How To Protect Yourself And Prevent An Infection

You like nature, bike rides or hiking in the forest, beware of tick bites! When an infected tick bites you, you risk contracting Lyme disease because it transmits a corkscrew-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. The consequences of a bite can range from a simple rash to a partial paralysis of the body. To avoid the serious consequences of the disease, here are some helpful tips.

The tick is a mite present throughout Europe, there are several species of which the majority is found on dogs or cats. This parasite can attack humans without feeling it but the symptoms are far from invisible. 

The most common symptoms of Lyme disease

The symptoms may be different from person to person, but here are some of the most common: fatigue, flu-like symptoms, headache, rash around the bite site, nausea, chills, or fever.

Several months or weeks after a bite, these symptoms may be noticed: swollen lymph nodes, muscle spasms, stiffness in the neck and severe headache, swelling, blurred vision or eye pain, unexplained chills or night sweats, tingling, numbness or throbbing pains in the limbs.

When a case is more severe, the most common symptoms are: abnormal heart rhythm, difficulty eating, breathing, sleeping and talking, memory loss, brain fog or confusion, intermittent pain in the muscles, tendons, bones and joints, convulsions and disorders of the nervous system, partial paralysis of the body.

Do you know ticks?
They are small insects of the mite family. They have eight legs and suck the blood. They can also be safe and without any symptoms, but an infested tick can also be fatal.

When a tick is fully developed, it becomes as big as a pea, its color can vary from white to brown depending on its development and whether it is full of blood or not. The tick attaches easily to clothing, animals and humans. It is fixed on the skin to bite and suck blood. Meanwhile, ticks infested with Lyme disease place the bacteria deep in the skin and later in the blood, causing infections.

How to prevent tick bites?

If you have to go to areas where you can meet ticks, follow these tips:
  • Do not walk in the areas of tall grass, bushes and woods.
  • You can spot ticks more easily if you wear light colored clothes.
  • Make sure the shoes you are wearing are closed-toed. The socks must be on your pants.
  • Always use insect repellents and long sleeved shirts.
  • Shower after your ride and inspect your body.
  • Pets and children should be well-controlled, especially in the hair, the belly button, around and in the ears and under the arms.

How to get rid of a tick?

These insects do not fall after biting, they stay stuck to the skin. And it's important to know that the more the tick stays on the skin the higher the risk of transmission of the bacteria, make sure to remove it 12 hours after the bite. Do not try to crush or eliminate the tick, as it may leave a puncture in the skin. The bacteria will also be transferred to the fingers.

Use a ticks sold in pharmacies or otherwise a tweezers that you must disinfect. Try to grab the tick near the skin and turn slowly until it comes off.

Do not throw away the tick because it can still bite. Keep it in a tissue or a piece of tape and bring it to your doctor as soon as you notice a symptom.
Lyme Disease