Lyme disease is a form of tick–borne illness first recognized in the year 1975. The disease is more prevalent in North America and Europe .
In the preliminary stages, Lyme disease manifests as skin rashes and flu like symptoms. When the individual is first bitten by ixodid tick, a small red bump may develop in the affected area. After few days, the red bump expands to a larger area resembling “bull’s eye pattern”. Such a kind of rash is known as erythema migrans . Many individuals develop multiple lesions which is also a major characteristic of Lyme disease. In addition to rash, affected individuals would also experience fever, body ache, fatigue and headache.
In the later stages, as the disease progresses, individuals complain of joint pain and neurological problems set in. Neurological conditions such as Bell’s palsy, meningitis, weakness of one or both limbs and impaired muscular movements are some of the grave problems experienced.
Some of the less common signs and symptoms of Lyme disease include inflammation of the liver and eyes, development of cardiac problems and extreme fatigue.
Entire Body System
Some synonyms in other countries include "tick typhus", "tobia fever" in Columbia, "São Paulo fever" or "febre maculosa" in Brazil and "fiebre manchada" in Mexico. [web.archive.org]
These bacteria range from tick-borne, relapsing fever-inducing strains detected in some soft ticks, such as B. mvumii, to those from bat ticks resembling B. turicatae. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
This disease used to be called "break-bone" fever because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking. Health experts have known about dengue fever for more than 200 years. [niaid.nih.gov]
These include fever, rash, facial paralysis, and arthritis. [cdc.gov]
Neuropathic pain is a relatively common outcome of Lyme disease. Pain management options for these patients have been limited to pharmaceutical treatments. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones Heart palpitations or an irregular heart beat (Lyme carditis) Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord Nerve pain Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling [cdc.gov]
These include shooting pains, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, and problems with short-term memory. Arthritis Pain and swelling in the large joints (such as knees) can occur. [web.archive.org]
The most common symptoms are muscle and joint pain. [nlm.nih.gov]
Chronic fatigue states have been reported to occur following any number of infections, including Lyme disease. [doi.org]
OBSERVATIONS: A 64-year-old man presented with a 1-month history of rapidly progressive weakness involving bulbar, upper limb and lower limb muscles. The physical examination showed widespread weakness, atrophy, fasciculation, and brisk reflexes. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The majority of these patients also had the chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia; the others usually had rheumatic or neurological diseases. [dx.doi.org]
We concluded that women with endometriosis are more likely to have chronic fatigue syndrome, systemic lupus erythematous, Sjögren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune inflammatory and endocrine diseases. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
"Then they are coming back with a test that is positive and saying, 'You doctors are all wrong and I don't have chronic fatigue syndrome, I have chronic Lyme disease.' [bbc.com]
- Inguinal Lymphadenopathy
Six weeks after initial development of symptoms, the patient was voiding without difficulty, and her inguinal lymphadenopathy was regressing. [doi.org]
- Generalized Lymphadenopathy
Generalized lymphadenopathy is not a classic feature of Lyme disease, but a Borrelial lymphocytoma may develop at the site of antecedent tick bite. [doi.org]
The patient presented with dyspnea and pain behind the sternum, which had been occurring for several months, mainly during fast walking upstairs. The patient reported having no symptoms when he was motionless. [doi.org]
[…] within one to two months after infection (range of less than one week to seven months). 17 – 19 Lyme carditis is a less common complication of systemic disease, occurring in approximately 4 to 10 percent of patients. 19 It may present as chest pain, dyspnea [web.archive.org]
Hospitalization and continuous monitoring, with consideration for temporary pacing, are advisable for patients with any of the following: Associated symptoms (eg, syncope, dyspnea, or chest pain) Second-degree or third-degree AV block First-degree heart [emedicine.medscape.com]
- Heart Block
He initially presented in complete heart block. A transvenous pacemaker was placed in the emergency department, and he was started empirically on Ceftriaxone for Lyme disease. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Sometimes a temporary pacemaker is needed for complete heart block. Doxycycline, given by mouth for 2 to 3 weeks, can help treat less severe first-degree heart block and Bell palsy. [merckmanuals.com]
If the infection goes untreated, you may develop multiple areas of rash, paralysis of facial muscles (Bell’s palsy), heart block (interruption of the electrical system of the heart) or areas of numbness or abnormal sensation (neuropathy). [my.clevelandclinic.org]
Meningitis, cranial neuritis, radiculoneuritis, peripheral neuritis, carditis, heart block, migratory musculoskeletal pain, intermittent or chronic arthritis, polyneuropathy, and chronic encephalopathy affecting memory, mood, or sleep have been associated [med.stanford.edu]
The heart block tends to improve and therefore only temporary pacing may be required. [doi.org]
The pathogenesis of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is poorly understood. However, it has been suggested that altered immune activity or denervation of the autonomic system following illness may be an important trigger. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Symptoms of cardiac involvement include bradycardia, tachycardia, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, syncope, and shortness of air.  Neurological disorders Neurological and mental health co-morbidities develop in approximately 5% of Lyme disease patients [physio-pedia.com]
Bonney, Junctional Tachycardia in a Child with Lyme Carditis, Pediatric Cardiology, 32, 5, (689), (2011). Michael P. Glotzbecker, Mininder S. Kocher, Robert P. Sundel, Benjamin J. Shore, Samantha A. Spencer and James R. [doi.org]
[…] episodes of erythema migrans. [doi.org]
Participants were most familiar with the classic target erythema migrans of Lyme disease but were unlikely to correctly identify the nonclassic erythema migrans. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Convert to ICD-10-CM : 088.81 converts approximately to: 2015/16 ICD-10-CM A69.20 Lyme disease, unspecified Approximate Synonyms Acute lyme disease Arthritis due to Lyme disease Cranial neuritis due to lyme disease Erythema chronica migrans Erythema chronicum [icd9data.com]
- Skin Lesion
The most common clinical marker for the disease is erythema migrans (EM), the initial skin lesion that occurs in 60%-80% of patients. [web.archive.org]
People with eczema also may be particularly susceptible to bacterial, viral, and fungal skin infections. [niaid.nih.gov]
[…] primary symptom is a red rash that: Can appear several days after infection, or not at all Can last up to several weeks Can be very small or grow very large (up to 12 inches across), and may resemble a "bulls-eye" Can mimic such skin problems as hives, eczema [hopkinsmedicine.org]
Contact dermatitis or discoid eczema. [patient.info]
Variable Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection Erythematous lesions of variable size that may be associated with necrotic eschar Most commonly located on the extremities, but may involve the axilla, abdomen, chest, or back Nummular eczema [aafp.org]
For single erythema migrans: Nummular eczema Ringworm Cellulitis Insect or spider bites Erythema granulare For multiple erythema migrans: Erythema multiforme Multiple insect bites For facial palsy: Idiopathic (Bell's palsy) Tumors (e.g., acoustic neuroma [clinicaladvisor.com]
- Erythema Annulare
Erythema annulare centrifugum. Erythema multiforme. Granuloma annulare. Contact dermatitis or discoid eczema. [patient.info]
Different clinical manifestations of Lyme disease were known long time ago and were described as independent illnesses, or as syndromes of unclear etiology: chronic erythema migrans, erythema Afcelius, tick-borne erythema annulare, acrodermatitis, chronic [mdpi.com]
- Blurred Vision
We report a case of a 27-year-old woman with blurred vision on her right eye. Because of the suspicion of optic neuritis (multiplex sclerosis) neurological examination was ordered. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Some people use them at night, but you can even have blurred vision for an hour or so after you wake up in the morning,” he adds. Osmolarity Another differentiating feature among the drops is osmolarity. “Some tears have lower osmolarity,” Dr. [reviewofophthalmology.com]
A 71-year-old woman with headache, malaise, fever, and diplopia. Initial coronal postcontrast T1 MR imaging ( A and B ) with enhancing bilateral third and fifth cranial nerves. [doi.org]
Ear-ringing (tinnitus). Tinnitus can be a nuisance, especially at bedtime when it seems to get louder as you’re trying to fall asleep. About 10 percent of people with Lyme experience this (15). Hearing loss. [healthline.com]
Other clues to Lyme disease have been identified, although these have not been consistently present in each patient: numbness and tingling, muscle twitching, photosensitivity, hyperacusis, tinnitus, lightheadedness, and depression. [web.archive.org]
Fifteen percent of patients on atovaquone-azithromycin reported adverse reactions, most commonly diarrhea and rash; clindamycin-quinine was associated with adverse reactions (tinnitus, diarrhea, and decreased hearing) for 72% of patients ( 103 ). [doi.org]
It was subsequently identified as a new clinical entity originally called Lyme arthritis based on the observation that arthritis was a major clinical feature. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
A 45-year-old man presented for evaluation for suspected Lyme arthritis. [doi.org]
Arthritis and Lyme Disease Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by a tick. [web.archive.org]
Only one patient in each group reported severe arthralgia. [doi.org]
In a second case, a 40-year-old male, with a previously known microscopic hematuria, presented with rash, arthralgias, new proteinuria and gross hematuria following a tick bite. Biopsy revealed focal proliferative IgA nephropathy. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
no of cases Year 1 2 13 83% .001 Year 2 0 15 100% .001 Adverse events after vaccine, % of subjects Arthralgia 3.9 3.5 .34 Myalgias 3.2 1.8 Achiness 2.0 1.4 .01 Late arthralgia ( 30 days after receipt of dose) 1.3 1.2 .54 Table 1. [dx.doi.org]
Most patients with NAGU exhibit nonspecific symptoms such as myalgias and fever, suggesting an infectious agent, but the majority have no identifiable pathogen. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Additionally, arthralgia, myalgia, or fibromyalgia syndromes alone are not criteria for musculoskeletal involvement. Nervous system. [web.archive.org]
- Back Pain
They include: fatigue trouble concentrating joint pain, particularly in the elbows, knees, and shoulders decreased short-term memory speech problems restlessness when trying to sleep muscle aches neck pain lower back pain irritability depression There [medicalnewstoday.com]
Magnetic resonance images of the thoracic, lumbar or sacral vertebrae were acquired in patients with back pain, low back pain and sacro-iliac joint pain. [dergipark.org.tr]
Meningoradiculitis due to borreliosis presenting as low back pain only. Neuroradiology 1998 ; 40 : 126 –27 Ljostad U, Okstad S, Topstad T, et al. Acute peripheral facial palsy in adults. J Neurol 2005 ; 252 : 672 –76 Lesser RL. [doi.org]
- Knee Pain
The sixth patient presented with knee pain and swelling. Motile spirochaetes were seen in blood samples from one patient and cultured from blood samples from two patients. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Knee pain may be a symptom of advanced Lyme disease. Image Source: Image reprinted with permission from eMedicine.com, 2008. (left), CDC / James Gathany (right) Text Reference: "Lyme Disease." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [emedicinehealth.com]
Intra-articular steroid injection may be useful as a temporizing procedure in patients with persistent knee pain but this runs the risk of masking persistent infection. [web.archive.org]
In comparison, none of the 42 patients who had never developed Lyme arthritis currently had knee pain ( P .001). [doi.org]
Special attention should be paid to patients with headaches who have traveled to endemic areas. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
"Classic" Erythema Migrans Rash Fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes may occur in the absence of rash Erythema migrans (EM) rash (see photos): Occurs in approximately 70 to 80 percent of infected persons Begins [cdc.gov]
In the early stages of Lyme disease, you may experience flu -like symptoms that can include a stiff neck, chills, fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain. [web.archive.org]
Although incomplete presentations of neurologic involvement of Lyme disease may be confused with other entities, the typical constellation of neurologic symptoms represents a unique clinical picture. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
- Neck Stiffness
Headache and mild neck stiffness, which fluctuated in intensity, and lymphocytic pleocytosis were the common findings. Half of the patients also had facial palsies, which were unilateral in 12 and bilateral in seven. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
stiffness Additional EM rashes on other areas of the body Facial palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face) Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints. [cdc.gov]
stiffness during their acute illness (87% compared with 13%; odds ratio, 2.4 [CI, 1.0 to 5.5]; P 0.045); however, the performance of the two groups on neurocognitive tests did not significantly differ. [doi.org]
stiffness due to meningitis (inflammation of the spinal cord) Pain and swelling in the large joints (such as knees) Shooting pains that may interfere with sleep Heart palpitations and dizziness due to changes in heartbeat Many of these symptoms will [web.archive.org]
- Peripheral Neuropathy
neuropathy, and painful radiculoneuropathy. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
neuropathy or partial paralysis Pressure in the head Numbness in body, tingling, pinpricks Poor balance, dizziness, difficulty walking Increased motion sickness Lightheadedness, wooziness Mood swings, irritability, bi-polar disorder Unusual depression [ticktalkireland.org]
- Sleep Disturbance
Other symptoms—Less common symptoms include eye inflammation (redness and swelling), fatigue, sleep disturbance, stiff neck, fever, and body aches. Once the diagnosis has been made, Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. [doi.org]
These symptoms can include muscle and joint pains, cognitive defects, sleep disturbance, or fatigue. The cause of these symptoms is not known, but there is no evidence that these symptoms are due to ongoing infection with B. burgdorferi. [web.archive.org]
Symptoms include severe headaches, meningitis, swollen joints, skin lesions, heart palpitations, dizziness, persistent fatigue, sleep disturbance, as well as loss of muscle tone in the face (Bell's palsy). [iamat.org]
The same study reported that 41 percent experienced sleep disturbances (15). Twenty-five percent of children with Lyme reported disturbed sleep (8). Summary: Sleep disturbances are common with Lyme, including night sweats and chills. [healthline.com]
Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease often mimic other disease conditions and therefore the disease is sometimes also referred to as “The great imitator”. The following are the diagnostic procedures employed to detect Lyme disease:
- ELISA test is carried out to detect the antibodies to the bacterium. However, this test can sometimes provide false positive results and is also not useful in the initial stages of the disease .
- Western blot test is done for confirming the presence of Lyme disease.
- The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test involves testing of the bacterial DNA from the fluid that is obtained from the joint of the affected individual.
- Borrelia Burgdorferi
Gilmore, Invasion of human neuronal and glial cells by an infectious strain of Borrelia burgdorferi, Microbes and Infection, 8, 14-15, (2832), (2006). Geeta Ramesh and Mario T. [doi.org]
Immunoglobulin G Immunoglobulin M Lipoproteins OspC protein Recombinant Proteins VlsE protein, Borrelia burgdorferi [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
- Third Degree Atrioventricular Block
atrioventricular block, 28 percent had some form of second- or first-degree atrioventricular block, and 23 percent had no conduction abnormalities. 18 Other less common manifestations include myopericarditis, bundle branch block, and heart failure. 17 [aafp.org]
Differential Diagnoses Bell Palsy Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Fibromyalgia Insect Bites Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Myocarditis Pediatric Contact Dermatitis Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) Third-Degree Atrioventricular Block (Complete Heart Block [emedicine.medscape.com]
atrioventricular block for 1,222 (0.8%) cases. [cdc.gov]
- First-Degree Atrioventricular Block
A 16-year-old girl with serologic evidence of Borrelia burgdorferi infection and transient first-degree atrioventricular block underwent cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, which demonstrated myocardial hyperemia, edema, and delayed gadolinium enhancement [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
atrioventricular block and PR interval greater than 30 milliseconds, as well as for patients with second- or third-degree atrioventricular block Patients with an isolated facial nerve palsy (i.e., normal cerebrospinal fluid examination) can be treated [aafp.org]
Association of chronic Lyme arthritis with HLA-DR4 and HLA-DR2 alleles. N Engl J Med. 1990 Jul 26;323(4):219-23. Erratum in: N Engl J Med 1991 Jan 10;324(2):129. Steere AC, Klitz W, Drouin EE, Falk BA, Kwok WW, Nepom GT, Baxter-Lowe LA. [ghr.nlm.nih.gov]
Association of chronic Lyme arthritis with HLA-DR4 and HLA-DR2 alleles [published erratum appears in N Engl J Med 1991 10 Jan;324:129]. N Engl J Med 990; 323:219–223 10. [dx.doi.org]
This condition is more prevalent among individuals with HLA-DR2, HLA-DR3, or HLA-DR4 allotypes. [emedicine.medscape.com]
Lyme disease can be successfully treated when the disease has been diagnosed in the initial stages. Antibiotics are the only way by which the disease can be treated. These are administered either orally or through the intravenous route depending on the condition of the patient. For oral antibiotics, the course duration is as long as 14 – 21 days depending on the severity of the condition  . When administered through the intravenous route, the course duration is about 14 – 28 days. However, some studies have postulated that antibiotics given for 10 – 14 days are equally effective.
The prognosis of Lyme disease is usually favorable as the condition can be successfully treated with prompt initiation of strong antibiotic regime. Failure to initiate early treatment can pave way for several unpleasant complications to set in .
Lyme disease occurs due to tick bites that are infected by the bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi. The disease manifests itself in 2 stages namely the initial stage and the late or the chronic stage . For an infection to occur, the bacterium must gain entry into the human body which is achieved through infected ixodid ticks. The ticks appear so small that it is almost impossible to spot them with naked eye. Once the bacterium gains entry, it spreads through the blood affecting various body organs and systems.
Lyme disease commonly affects individuals of North America and Europe. In the year 2013, it was ranked as the 5th most common nationally identifiable disease. It has been estimated that each year in the United States, as high as 30,000 cases of the disease are reported. In the year 2011 alone, the disease struck about 33,097 individuals of the United States .
For an individual to develop Lyme disease, he or she should have been bitten by ixodid ticks infected by bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Once the bacterium gains entry into the body it spreads through the blood stream giving rise to unpleasant symptoms. For an infection to occur, the tick must be attached to the skin for about 25 – 36 hours . It is therefore necessary to remove the tick as soon as possible in order to prevent transmission of the disease .
Following certain simple steps can help you prevent from Lyme disease. In countries where Lyme disease is a common occurrence, individuals should avoid wandering in areas where ixodid (deer) ticks are common. These include bushy areas with long grass and wooded areas. Individual are advised to wear long pants when exploring such areas. It is also necessary to use insect repellents. When bitten by deer tick, it is necessary to remove the tick as soon as possible to prevent the infection. Individuals are also advised to check their pets for ticks. Whenever they notice tick bites, it should immediately be removed with the help of tweezers.
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted to humans when they are bitten by ixodid ticks. Lyme disease greatly affects the body organs such as the joints, muscles, hearts, neurological system and gastrointestinal system . Individuals affected with this disease often present with arthritis, fever, rashes, conjunctivitis and many other debilitating conditions. Lyme disease is treated with a strong antibiotic course that works towards elimination of the bacterium from the body. The disease can be successfully treated if treatment is initiated in the early stages.
Lyme disease is a kind of bacterial infection caused by infected ticks. The bacterium that causes the disease is called as Borrelia burgdorferi. It is the most common form of vector illness in the United States. It has been estimated that about 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are detected each year in the US.
Infected deer tick is the sole cause of Lyme disease. In this, the bacterium gains entry into the human system through the tick bite and spreads through the blood affecting other body organs and system.
Symptoms of Lyme disease include development of rash which is small and red colored in the initial stages. As the disease progresses, the rash extends in bull’s eye pattern. Other symptoms include joint pain, neurological problems, fever, fatigue, headache and muscle aches.
Diagnosis of Lyme disease gets difficult as the symptoms often mimic other disease conditions. Many a time physical examination of the rash is enough to confirm the diagnosis. However additional tests such as ELISA test, Western blot test and polymerase chain reaction test may also be necessary to confirm the disease condition.
A strong antibiotic course for 14 – 21 days would be enough to successfully treat the condition.
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- Steere AC, Angelis SM. Therapy for Lyme arthritis: strategies for the treatment of antibiotic-refractory arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. Oct 2006;54(10):3079-86Steere AC, Sikand VK. The presenting manifestations of Lyme disease and the outcomes of treatment. N Engl J Med. Jun 12 2003;348(24):2472-4.