I believe more precise exploration of the diseases borne by ticks, fleas and mosquitoes, is now being aggressively researched, due to the ever increasing ties between these insect infections and people’s diagnoses. A few short years ago, the aches and pains of older Americans were chocked up to arthritis and old age. Now they are beginning to look closer and improve testing for these parasites in folks who are slowly but surely losing their mobility and developing manifestations of these little cork-screw shaped bacteria. But what about the people who have it, were never diagnosed or had tests come back as a false negative and were written off.
People at highest risk for persistent symptoms are those who go the longest before treatment. Fortunately, public vigilance has significantly reduced the rates of late-stage Lyme disease. Antibiotics given at late stages will relieve symptoms in most people, although about 5% may continue to have problems.
Left untreated, Lyme disease can spread (disseminate). The infection may affect almost any part of the body and cause the following complications:
• Severe arthritis
• Persistent fatigue
• Mood disturbances and loss of concentration
• Neuropathy (numbness, tingling, or other odds sensations in the hands, arms, feet or legs)
• Life-threatening disorders affecting the heart, lungs, or nervous system can occur, but are very rare.
About 60% of untreated patients develop arthritis, which usually affects a knee or other large joint. About 10 - 20% of patients develop neurological or heart problems.
Persistent neurological symptoms include headache, attention and memory problems, and depression. Patients may also experience pain or tingling in legs or arms (peripheral neuro-pathy), numbness, or facial paralysis (Bell's palsy). Neurologic symptoms generally resolve and improve within a year.
The main heart complications are electrical conduction problems caused by the infection, which can result in an abnormally slow heart rate.
Post-Lyme Disease Syndrome
Lyme disease is a curable condition. Nearly all patients (95%) improve after a short course of antibiotics. In very rare cases, patients continue to complain of persistent non-specific symptoms, such as fatigue, muscle aches, cognitive problems, and headache lasting years after completing antibiotic treatment for the initial infection.
This syndrome, which resembles chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or fibromyalgia, is referred to as post-Lyme disease syndrome. In the past, it has been called “chronic Lyme disease.” However, based on many reviews of scientific literature, researchers and doctors strongly believe that Lyme disease does not have a chronic state. According to the 2006 guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Association of America, post-Lyme disease syndrome is the preferred name for this condition.
Patients are considered to have this syndrome if they still have symptoms 6 months after treatment. Most important, there must be definitive evidence that the patient was originally infected by the B. burgdorferi spirochete. If there is no documented evidence of infection, it could be that the patient never had Lyme disease, or may be experiencing a new or different type of illness. If the patient did have Lyme disease, symptoms should eventually resolve without additional antibiotic treatments.
Doctors strongly advise against prolonged antibiotic treatment. There is no evidence that long-term antibiotics help treat post-Lyme disease syndrome symptoms. In addition, long-term antibiotic treatment carries its own serious risks, such as the development of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
These little critters are being aggressively explored....finally...and now are known to spread a remarkable array of pathogens, such as bacteria, spirochetes, rickettsiae, protozoa, viruses, nematodes, and toxins. A single tick bite can transmit multiple pathogens, a phenomenon that has led to atypical presentations of some classic tick-borne diseases. In the United States, ticks are the most common vectors of vector-borne diseases.
In North America, the following diseases are caused by tick bites: Lyme disease, human granulocytic and monocytic ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, relapsing fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, tularemia, Q fever, and tick paralysis, according to a Medscape.com article.
Today, if we feel better...we will do what we should have done yesterday and that will be working on bottle trees and plants for the “Garden Days Sale” at Lynda Witt’s Antique Shop, at #238 county route 411, on Newry Road, in Westerlo. Just pop this address in your GPS to get there. It will take place on the 14th of this month. I will make as many bottle trees as Vick thinks she might sell, and then Weld a chair leg for a friend, and then possibly start planting fence posts this afternoon. (One hopes......)
041754 Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm, LLC