Causes And Risk Factors For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infectious disease spread from host to host through the bite of infected ticks. Ticks need blood to survive, so they attach themselves to hosts such as mice, deer, dogs, and humans to feed. Upon feeding on animals that are infected with the Lyme disease bacteria, ticks become infected, continuing to infect other animals and humans that they feed off of. In most cases, an infected tick must be attached for twenty-four hours before the bacteria can be transmitted.
Pets, particularly dogs, can increase the chance of being bitten by an infected tick, as they can carry the ticks into the home or yard.
Preventing Tick Bites And Lyme Disease
The best way to prevent Lyme disease and other bacteria caused illnesses, is by avoiding tick bites. Some ways to stay protected and to avoid tick bites while venturing into woodlands or forested areas include wearing light-colored long-sleeved shirts and pants and keep shirts tucked into pants and socks pulled over pant legs. Other ways to prevent getting bitten by ticks involves using bug spray containing DEET or Icaridin on clothing and skin, walking along cleared paths, showering within two hours after being outdoors, and doing a full-body check. If an attached tick is found, it is essential to remove it immediately with tweezers. It is also essential to check all outdoor gear and pets before returning home, as they could carry ticks inside the house.
The Three Stages Of Lyme Disease
There are three stages of Lyme disease that progress quite quickly. The first stage is within the early few days after infection and is the easiest time to treat the illness. As the disease progresses to the second stage, usually within days or weeks after the initial infection, the symptoms become worse, and the infection spreads. When the Lyme disease reaches its third and last stage within months to years after the infection, it is called chronic Lyme. Chronic Lyme disease can result in symptoms like neurological illnesses like paralysis and can affect hormone production.