Lyme disease is an inflammatory disorder varcharacterized by a skin rash. Following the skin rash, there are symptoms in the central nervous system, cardiovascular system and joints. It is usually a self-limiting illness, that goes away on its own. The majority of those who develop this disorder do not become seriously ill. Lyme disease is uncommon. It is named for Lyme, Connecticut, where it was first described. It is often misdiagnosed in children as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Causes of Lyme Disease
Cause is due to a deer tick bite which spreads the spirochete (germ), Borrelia burgdorferi. A tick bite at the site of the lesion 3 days to 4 weeks prior to the rash is typical.
Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease
The disease is transmitted by a tick bite, which might be obvious on the skin. Following that, a red papule, or raised bump, is seen on the skin of the thighs, buttocks or armpits. This papule may enlarge reaching as large as 50 cm. in diameter. As the lesion enlarges, the central area heals and may appear normal. There may be more than one lesion. As the disease progresses over days, week and months, other symptoms develop. This include headache, stiff neck, back ache and muscle aches. There may be fever and chills. Sore throat, nausea and vomiting may occur. Lumps may develop in the neck, groin or armpit and be tender or painful. There may be pain and tenderness in the left upper abdomen, if the spleen become affected. Joint pain commonly occurs, associated with redness and warmth of the joint. The symptoms tend to migrate from one joint to another. Involvement of the heart is signified by irregular heart beats or shortness of breath.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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