March 03, 2015
The Texas Lyme Disease Association (TXLDA) defines Lyme and correlated diseases as those that are infectious and readily transmitted by ticks (Texas Lyme Disease Association). Subsequently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes the disease as a Bacterium that is spread by infected ticks through the bite (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The bacterium identified by CDC is scientifically known as Borrelia burgdorferi.
According to CDC, this disease can expresses itself in four stages in an infected person. These stages are: Early localized stage, early disseminated stage, late disseminated stage, and the Lingering symptoms after treatment.
Early Localized Stage
This stage is expressed within an estimate of 3-30 days after the tick-bite. CDC points out that this phase of the disease is characterized by a person feeling tired, headache, swollen lymph nodes, joint and muscle aches, fever and chills. In addition, the person may develop a red rash that expands rapidly on the skin. This rash is identified by CDC as Erythema Migrans (EM).
Early Disseminated Stage
In case the disease is left untreated in the Early Localized Stage, CDC writes that it has the potential to develop into the second phase called the Early Disseminated Stage. Symptoms expressed in this phase include: increase in the number of EM rashes, Bell’s palsy, headaches becoming severe, the large joints swelling and becoming painful, and changes in the heartbeat resulting to palpitations. The Majority of these symptoms, CDC notes, usually resolve in few weeks or months without treatment. However, failure of treatment may at times encourage the development of additional complications of the disease.
Late disseminated stage
CDC estimates that 60% of the Lyme disease patients who fail to get treatment develop intermittent arthritis bouts in this stage. The patients experience severe pain and swelling in the joints, in particular, the large knee joints. CDC further points out that up to 5% of these patients usually develop neurological problems that are chronic after several months and even years from the time of infection. These chronic neurological problems include numbness in the feet or hands, short-term memory, and shooting pains.
Lingering symptoms after treatment
After treatment of this disease using antibiotics, about 10% to 20% of patients continue to express symptoms