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Lyme disease is spread by the bite of ticks of the genus Ixodes that are infected with Borrelia Burgdoferi. The deer (or bear) tick, which normally feeds on the white-footed mouse,the white-tailed deer,other mammals, and birds, is responsible for transmitting Lyme disease to humans in the northeastern and north-central United States.
On the Pacific Coast, the bacteria are transmitted to the humans by the western black-legged tick and in the southeastern states possibly by the black-legged tick also.
Ixdoes ticks are much smaller than common dog and cattle ticks. In their larval and nymphal stages, they are no bigger than a pinhead. Adult ticks are slightly larger. Ticks can attach to any part of the human body, but often attach to the more hidden and hairy areas of the body.
It has been found through research, that ticks transmit Lyme disease to humans during the nymph stage, probably because nymphs are more likely to feed on a person and are rarely noticed because of their small size. This way they have more time to feed and transmit the infection. Ticks are more likely to transmit infection after approximately 2 or more days of feeding.
Tick larva are smaller than the nyphms, but they rarely carry the infection at the time of feeding and are probably not important in the transmission of Lyme Disease to humans.
Adult ticks transmit the disease, but since they are larger and more likely to be removed from a person's body within a few hours, they are less likely to have time to transmit the disease.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
In most people the first symptom is a red rash. The rash starts as a small read spot that expands over a period of days or weeks. It forms a circular, triangular, or oval shaped rash. Sometimes the rash resembles a bull's eye, because it appears as a red ring surrounding the a central area. The rash can range in size from that of a dime to the entire width of a person's back, and appears within a few weeks of a tick bite and usually occurs at the site of the bite.
As the infection spreads, several rashes may appear at different sites on the body.
These rashes can also accompanied by symptoms of fever, headache, stiff neck, body aches, and fatigue.
Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics, but must be treated early.
After several months of being infected, slightly more than those not treated with antibotics develop recurrent attacks of painful and swollen joints, arthritis, that last a few days to a few months. The arthritis can shift from one joint to another, the knee is the most commonly affected.
Lyme disease if left undreated can also cause Neurological symptoms and also heart problems.
Less commonly, Lyme disease can result in imflammation, hepatitis, and severe fatigue, although none of these problems is likely to appear without other Lyme disease symptoms being present.
You should be careful in removing the tick and be sure all of it has been removed.
Never just pull the tick out as this could leave the head of the tick in and could cause an infection.
If possible sufficate the tick with alcohol or some kind of astringent, this will kill the tick and cause it ot let go. If part of the tick is left in, it could become infected and you would need to see your doctor as soon as possible.
Ticks can also carry other disease, such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
If you are bitten by a tick and become ill, see your doctor as soon as possible.
Ticks can be found on tips of grasses and shrubs,not from trees, and transfer to animals and persons that brush against them.
Ticks can only crawl,not jump, so they aren't likely to be jumping on you.
If there is an infestation of ticks in and around your home, seek professional help.
There are alot of chemicals on the market, so be sure to read the directions and follow all warnings.