Red skin circle lyme disease

Everywhere in the word you can find ticks and that means you can get the Lyme disease in many places. This is an infection sickness transferred by the sheep tick onto the human whereby the Borrelia Burgdorferi bacteria is passed on. This sickness is called after a village in the north-east of North-America where in 1975 this illness is broken out as an epidemic. The bacteria have the form of a spiral with a length between three till eight micrometer. In the early stages the disease is recognizable as a red skin circle which can be up to forty centimeter in diameter. How can you recognize the disease further and what can you do about it?


Why a tick-bite?

Ticks are arthropod animals and fall within the group arachnids (spider) but they are also related to the mite. This little animal recognizes the exhaust of carbon dioxide and will react on it. As soon the source has been identified the tick will drop itself from a tree or bush so that it will end up on the skin or in the hair of the person. They usually prefer high dune grass, the forest or near moorland. When it sits on the skin it will immediately bite in the skin so that it can drink its host blood until its body is complete filled. Because the tick is carrier of diseases the host can also be infected. After mosquitoes ticks are the biggest distributor of pathogens – aka source of biological infection. The host from whom the tick drinks has now pain as the wound is locally numb due to the tick’s saliva.  


Growing numbers

About one in fifteen persons (Europe and America) have a good chance of being bitten every year whereby in around one percent gets the distinct red skin circle. This means that many people don’t know that they have been bitten as the red spot doesn't appear. In many regions the number of bites is rising due to growing as people go out more often into nature. Normally ticks drink blood from mice, reindeer but the number of people as a host is increasing. If a pregnant woman is infected with the disease it can be transmitted to the unborn child.


Symptoms of Lyme disease

The sickness has several stages. The more it can spread through the system of your body the more influence it has. That means it is necessary to get medical attention if a tick bite has been found as it can have great consequences. The following stages are distinguished. Stadium one erythema migrans: this is the red stain in a circular form on the skin around the point the tick has bitten. Normally the circle will appear within four till ten days but it can also be up to three months. Gradually the size will change from fife till forty centimeters. The outer edge is red but the skin inside is of lighter color. The infected skin usually doesn't hurt or itch and no swelling will appear. But it can mean that the person will feel feverish, has throat or muscle pain or has complete malaise. If this circle appears it is almost always due to the Lyme disease for which the patient needs to be treated with an antibiotics cure over ten days till three weeks. If the illness reaches stadium two or three then it has spread through the central nervous system with great consequences. 


The early spreading: stage two

As the tick drinks the person’s blood right out of the bloodstream also the bacteria can enter the body. This means the infection can rapidly spread throughout the body. This infection can occur within twenty four hours after the first bite. In that case the central nervous system will be infected causing demyelination. This is the disappearance of the myelin sheath between the different nerve cells. This myelin consists of whitish fats with surround the axon – information carrier between nerve cells. If the myelin sheath disappears due to the infection electrical messages will be transmitted slow, incorrectly or won’t be sending at all. The complete perception of the person will change with possible paralysis or heart problems as a result.


Symptoms affected nervous system

Common consequences are acute brain or spine nerves inflammation for instance resulting in half face paralysis. The person can have fever, stiffness in the neck typical with meningitis. It can result in double vision as the eye muscles are infected, half face paralysis, nerves pain, dizziness and problems with hearing. If the spine is infected you must think on conditions like severe pain in the limbs or torso, loss of strength combined with a tingling feeling, bladder problems and symptoms similar with MS, dementia and atrophy.


Lyme arthritis

As a result of the bacteria joint tissue and slimes can be infected resulting in swelling and pain within the joints. It can last a day up to several months most common within the knee. This form of arthritis begins within three months after the tick bite but can also occur in a later stage. All joints can be infected but as the knee is a big joint most problems will occur here. Next to joints also the heart can be affected resulting in carditis aka inflammation of the heart tissue giving heart rhythm disorders or heart failure.


Chronic infection: stage three

If aforementioned symptoms continue prolonged then it can be chronic Lyme Borrelia. It can occur that the person is symptom free for weeks till several years, but the condition will return. Problem is that will return in worsened form. The Lyme disease has developed into a chronic multi-system disease giving problems to several organ systems. This can result in fatigue, feverish symptoms, headache, muscle and joint pain, change of mood, high body temperature and sweating heavily, bad concentration, problems with speak and memory. 


If you think you are bitten by a lick you should always get medical attention preventing a serious condition.