Lyme disease is spread by deer ticks and is caused by a spirochete bacteria name Borrelia burgdorferi. When the bacteria reach the bloodstream and are spread throughout the body, it can cause signs and symptoms ranging from mild to severe.
Deer ticks are the vector insect of this kind of disease. B. burgdorferi lives in the saliva of the tick and when the tick bit a person, the bacteria is introduced inside the body. B. burgdorferi will then travel the bloodstream and infect different body parts such as the nervous, integumentary, and musculoskeletal system.
Its most noticeable symptom is the rash that it creates, which is an immune response of the body to the invading foreign bacteria. The rash is developed by the time the deer tick bit a person. The tick's saliva is a perfect nourishing substance for the bacteria. The tick's saliva itself contains chemical that can disrupt or damage the local immune system. When the skin's immune system is compromised, it can serve as a breeding ground for the bacteria. From the site of the bite, the spirochete bacteria will then asexually reproduce and will spread outwardly. This is the main reason that lyme disease rash is circular in appearance. In some unknown reason, the neutrophils, which are the body's antigen for invading bacteria, do not respond promptly to the site or failed to take action.
Signs and Symptoms
The manifestations of lyme disease may greatly depend upon what part of the body is affected. Generally, the signs and symptoms are produced because of the body's response to the invading bacteria. Thus, the signs and symptoms are indication that your body's immune system is still operating. But prolonged exposure to infection without any sign of recovery will eventually lead to exhaustion and possible irreversible damage to the body.
Aside from rash which has been mentioned above, the following are some of the signs and symptoms of lyme disease.
Circular rash has 5 to 6 inches diameter
"Bull's eye" rash
Occasionally itchy or painful
Signs of inflammation may or may not be present
Shooting pain that leads to sleep disturbances
Lyme disease has many other complications that may even affect mental and emotional health. This is the main reason that early detection and prompt medical attention should be given. Lyme disease may not be serious at first, but the later stages of the disease may lead to debilitating effects.