How To Recognise Lyme Disease

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Q: I am 51 and used to be very active in my job as a country ranger. Recently, however, I feel very tired, my lower body aches, and my legs feel weak. Someone suggested this could be lyme disease. Could you explain what this is, and the treatment?

A: Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread through tick bites. The pinhead-sized ticks are common in the northern hemisphere, in gardens, woods, moors and parks, both country and town. They also settle on animals, such as deer, horses, dogs, sheep and cows. In the UK, they are mostly active from April to October. However, not all ticks carry lyme disease, and infection rates in tick populations vary by species and geographic areas.

Lyme disease causes a wide range of symptoms, according to the campaigning support group Lyme Disease Action. Early signs, within two to 30 days of a bite, may include a circular red ‘bull’s-eye’ rash at the site, facial palsy and flu-like symptoms (such as fatigue, fever, headaches anda stiff neck). Other symptoms, usually of more advanced, untreated disease, include muscle and joint pain, and disturbances of coordination, hearing, sight, digestive system and sleep. The illness may lead to heart problems or disturb the central nervous system. Read More…