Lyme disease, caused by one or more strains of Borrelia bacteria, is most often transmitted to animals and humans by the bite of an infected tick. In January 2014, a study by a team of international scientists determined it was possible to sexually transmit Lyme disease from person to person. Congenital Lyme (mother to baby) has also been documented over the years.
Testing for Lyme disease has been proven to miss up to 75% of people infected. Additionally, blood tests are only capable of detecting the body's response to one strain of Borrelia (burgdorferi). Over 300 strains of Borrelia have been reported to date.
Important- Treat the patient not the test.
The sooner treatment is initiated the better.
The Lyme disease bacterium (spirochete) can spread from the point of infection within hours, spreading to many parts of the body and producing mild to severe symptoms. Some patients may experience no symptoms at first, some may have an array of mild to strong varying symptoms.
The Lyme disease rash (EM), which occurs in less than 10 percent of children, and less than 50% of adults may gradually expand around the bite site over a period of several days. The center of the rash may clear as the spirochetes disperse, or it may remain solid red to purplish in color until it disappears on its own, treated or not. The rash may be warm to touch and slightly itchy, but is not usually painful. Some patients develop multiple rashes on various parts of their body.
Patients with Lyme disease may experience fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. They may have no obvious symptoms as the disease disseminates through the tissues, or while the spirochetes hide in protected niches in the body (bladder, brain, joints, tendons, eyes, etc.).
Symptoms of Lyme disease may not be noticeable or pronounced, however, the infection can produce symptoms years after a person has been infected, especially during times of stress, after child birth, after an auto accident, the death of a loved one, or if experiencing other illnesses or stressors.