Borreliosis, known colloquially as Lyme disease is a zoonotic, vector-borne disease that can be contracted from tick and lice bites. It gets its name from the town where it was first diagnosed in 1975, namely Old Lyme in Connecticut. Today, Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne condition in Europe and is especially common in the heavily wooded and rural areas of the old continent. While different subtypes of borreliosis can be caused by a number of bacteria from borrelia genus that contains 52 identified species. Out of those, as much as 21 can cause the typical symptoms associated with Lyme disease, with additional 29 being the main culprit for the relapsing fevers. It is most commonly transmitted by black-legged and deer ticks.
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What are the symptoms of borreliosis?
The conditions caused by the borrelia bacteria, including Lyme disease, tend to progress through three distinct stages, with noticeable changes in type and intensity of symptoms in each of the phases. Here we will briefly cover them all.
Lyme disease early signs and symptoms
Most people affected by Lyme disease often claim that they haven’t even noticed the tick bite at the first place. Because this is so easy to miss, early signs and symptoms of borreliosis are very important in establishing timely diagnose and seeking medical attention. They include, among others, a tell-tale ‘bull’s-eye’ pattern surrounding the place of the bite (a central red spot surrounded by a clear spot, surrounded by a red edge). The site of the bite is usually somewhat warmer to touch, but is neither painful nor itchy. It tends to gradually disappear over the period of four weeks.
In some cases, bull’s-eye pattern can be absent and instead just a solid red rash, sometimes resembling a bruise might be noticeable.
Early disseminated stage of Lyme disease
After a couple of weeks following the initial bite that transmitted the bacteria from a tick to you, you will begin to experience symptoms characteristic of influenza. By this time, the rash will usually completely disappear, often leading people to the wrong conclusion that the symptoms experienced and rash are completely separate occurrences. This tends to cause the condition to be completely missed, with symptoms thought of as simple influenza. They include:
- Enlargement of lymph nodes
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- General malaise
In this stage, the general feeling of being sick will be dominant. Some rarer symptoms such as numbness, tingling or temporary paralysis of the face muscles can occur, but only rarely. Because of this, even the second stage of Lyme disease, marked by distribution of bacteria throughout the body can be missed.
Late disseminated stage of Lyme disease
If the condition is not timely diagnosed and treated, the third stage will take place with rather severe and worrisome symptoms including:
- Severe headaches
- Heart rhythm disturbances
- Insomnia or inability to wake up
- Memory problems
- Mood changes
- Short-term memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mental fogginess
- Numbness in one or several extremities
These symptoms are much harder to be missed as they are all causes for concern. If you notice them, you should contact your doctor immediately.
How is Lyme disease diagnosed?
If you have any reason to suspect that you might have been affected by borreliosis or if your doctor has the same suspicions, he will conduct a physical exam and if needed, will recommend a blood test.
Blood test is the most reliable way of confirming or ruling out bacterial infections, and the same is true for borrelia genus. Ideally, blood test for Lyme disease should be conducted a couple of weeks after the moment of infections when the antibodies will be present in the blood, allowing for a much easier detection of the condition.
Alternatively, a more specialised and complex tests will be required.
How is borreliosis treated?
All types of borreliosis, including the Lyme disease should ideally be treated in the early stages of the infection. Despite being a very infectious disease which can be very dangerous and even life threatening when left untreated, it can be efficiently cured using just oral antibiotics such as doxycycline, cefuroxime or amoxicillin.
However, if the condition has progressed and already caused further complications, then intravenous antibiotic course lasting between two and three weeks will be required to completely eliminate the bacteria from the organism.
Lyme disease prevention
All types of borreliosis are transmitted through insect bites which makes them easier to avoid than other airborne bacterial infections. So, when it comes to preventing infection, it will actually just require you to use some basic precautions when spending time outdoors. Long sleeves and pants as well as insect repellent will usually do the trick when you’re spending time outside.
In addition, you should make sure to take certain precautions that will ensure that there are no ticks in your backyard. Finally, if you own a pet, be sure to check it for ticks regularly.
Can I buy Lyme disease treatment online in the UK?
As was mentioned, Lyme disease and other forms of borreliosis can be successfully treated by oral antibiotics or intravenous antibiotics in case of late stage infection. The latter can be administered only by a trained medical professional and as such, they cannot be obtained for personal use.
When it comes to oral antibiotics, you can buy them online in the UK only with a valid prescription issued by a certified medical professional, regardless of why exactly you might need them for. Luckily, this is no obstacle to buying your Lyme disease treatment online. If you have been diagnosed by the condition through a test, you can use any of a number of online clinics and pharmacies operating in the UK to order the antibiotic treatment.
You will most likely still be required to answer a couple of questions so that the doctor can choose the most suitable option for you. After that, the prescription will be issued and used that same moment to have the medication delivered from the partner pharmacy to the address you provided.