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What is Lyme Disease?

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is an infection with Borrelia burgdorferi -bakterien which gained through the bite of a tick. 


There usually comes a little redness and swelling where the tick has bitten. If you are infected, there will be a red rash that spreads like a ring that gets bigger by the day, and the center becomes pale. You can also get red rash elsewhere on the body. While the rash can make you feel uncomfortable and you can get muscle pain and fever. The majority of rashes are mentioned completely healthy, but some can get neuroborreliosis – usually first comes several months after the bite. 
You may well get neuroborreliosis, even if you have not had the rash. The symptoms of neuroborreliosis is pain in the back – as a rule, between the shoulder blades – or facial paralysis, one corner of the mouth hangs. 
In rare cases, you can get inflammation of the joints, with pain and swelling of the joint. Very few will have symptoms that persist, but in individual disappears facial paralysis not quite.Others can cause permanent skin changes with a bluish-red swelling around the place they were bitten. 

How does the disease?

Most people who are bitten by a tick, is not sick. And the few who get a red rash (erythema migrans), quickly becomes healthy. Some will have effect on the nerves from the brain (neuroborreliosis), and there is pain between the shoulder blades a common symptom that disappears again. 
Children – and more rarely adults – can get facial paralysis. With very few disappears facial paralysis not quite.  

In rare cases, the patient may have joint inflammation (arthritis), inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), encephalitis or skin rash (acrodermatitis atrophicans chronicum) that do not disappear again. 

Who gets the disease?

Anyone can get Lyme disease. 

How contagious Lyme disease?

You become infected with Borrelia being bitten by a tick, as many mistakenly call a tick. 
The bacteria found in some of the ticks gut, and brought here by a bite into you. It is uncertain how quickly borreliabakterien transferred. You must therefore remove a tick as soon as you discover that it has bitten. 
The tick can sit anywhere on your body, but it searches usually warm, moist and dark places, such as in the groin or armpits. 

What causes Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is caused infection with the bacterium  Borrelia burgdorferi. 

Studies of Lyme disease

The symptoms are usually so typical that the doctor does not have to make any inquiries. 

Lyme disease
The doctor may take a blood test to see if you have antibodies against Borrelia. The antibodies are first formed several weeks after the bite. If you must be examined for neuroborreliosis, you must have taken the blood sample and also a lumbar puncture (also called spinal tap) so that it can examine whether there are more antibodies against Borrelia in your cerebro-spinal fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) than there is in the blood sample. 

Special conditions in children

In summer playing children often in tall grass where the tick include holder. Remember to watch your child for the ticks in the evening. 

Treatment of Lyme disease

What can you do yourself? 

If you have been a walk in the woods or gone in tall grass, especially where deer move, it’s a good idea to look after the skin for ticks. If there is a tick, remove it immediately. There are several ways you can remove it: Use a special pliers or HIV it out with the nails, if you do not have a bar available. 

Do not let the tick sit; the quicker you get it out, the less likely you are to get Borrelia. If you do not get the head with out, it does not matter. Let your head be seated, your body makes sure that it disappears. 

Read More About: What is Facial paralysis?

Medical treatment 

Borrelia rash treated with narrow-spectrum penicillin tablets or oral solution and neuroborreliosis with narrow-spectrum penicillin, you get injected into a vein. 
If you are allergic to penicillin and have the rash, you are treated with tetracycline, and against neuroborreliosis cause either tetracycline or a cephalosporin (ceftriaxone) injected into a vein. 

There is no vaccine against Borrelia, only against a rare form of encephalitis that the tick can produce. The doctor will only rarely vaccinated, and it is recommended that you do not give antibiotics preventive against Borrelia if you have been bitten by a tick, because most ticks do not carry the Borrelia bacterium. 


Narrow spectrum penicillins

Benzylpenicillin and phenoxymethylpenicillin are narrow-spectrum penicillins.Benzylpenicillin is for injection, phenoxymethylpenicillin available as tablets, oral drops, etc. 
Narrow spectrum penicillins works in a few types of bacteria. They are particularly effective against streptococcus, pneumococcus, meningococcus, Borrelia bacteria and syphilis -bakterier. 
Narrow-spectrum penicillin does not taste good, and it can cause problems when small children should be treated with penicillin in liquid form. The ugly taste can be hidden by mixing droplets with eg yogurt, chocolate milk or cola. 


The tetracyclines are very broad spectrum antibiotics, and can therefore lead to many bacteria become resistant. They are used as an alternative to penicillins or macrolides. 


Some of cefalosporinerne is narrow spectrum, but most are very broad spectrum.Cefalosporinerne is bactericidal. They are mostly used in hospitals, either if penicillin has not worked, or for patients who are allergic to penicillin. 
One of cefalosporinerne, ceftriaxone, also used outside the hospital for treatment of gonorrhea.


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