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How do you contract Lyme disease?

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Lyme disease a bacterial infection that is contracted from ticks, and humans most frequently contract it from deer tick bites. This condition is most common in Europe and North America, as stated by WebMD. It results from a bacterium referred to as Borrelia burgdorferi, which is commonly harbored by deer ticks. People living in wooded and grassy areas have a higher risk of getting the disease.

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Treating the condition with antibiotics during its early stages will help a person recover from it completely, as noted by Mayo Clinic. At an advanced stage of the infection, recovery from Lyme disease may be slow, but the right treatment helps the majority of people recover completely.

The joints, skin and nervous system are the most affected parts of the body. The symptoms of Lyme disease include joint pain, fatigue, liver inflammation, heart problems, neurological problems, fever, headache, eye inflammation and rash. Lyme disease is known to cause arthritis, as well as nerve, heart and brain problems, according to WebMD.

It can be difficult to manage Lyme disease because many of its symptoms simulate those of other health conditions. A blood test may be required if a doctor fails to locate a rash on a patient's skin. If a person avoids treatment, Lyme disease can spread to other body parts for years after the infection, damaging the nervous system.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that most cases of Lyme disease are transmitted by immature ticks. These ticks are called nymphs. Because nymphs are very tiny, it is difficult to spot them and remove them before they can transmit Borrelia burgdorferi. The western blacklegged tick spreads Lyme disease on the Pacific Coast, while the deer tick spreads Lyme disease in the north-central, mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States.

It is possible to prevent Lyme disease by taking several precautions when spending time outdoors. Wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts prevents infected ticks from coming into contact with the skin. Tucking a shirt into a pair of pants or pant legs into socks also helps prevent contact with infected ticks. For people who cannot avoid tick-infested areas, wearing light-colored clothing makes it easier to identify ticks before they attach to the skin. Outdoor enthusiasts should also use insect repellent before hiking or engaging in other outdoor activities. After spending time outdoors, check every part of the body for ticks, as recommended by LymeDisease.org.

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