Lyme Disease is a type of bacterial infection that is transmitted through the bite of a deer tick. The disease was discovered in children back in the mid-1970s and was originally mistaken for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. While it might look like a skin infection, Lyme Disease can actually lead to arthritis and can also spread to the heart, brain and nervous system if left untreated.

Cases of Lyme Disease have been reported in every U.S. state, but it is most common in and around wooded areas, as there’s more ticks present in such areas. In recent years, Lyme Disease has been on the rise in the New England states.

Here’s a look at the causes, symptoms and prevention of Lyme Disease:

Causes

As previously mentioned, Lyme Disease is transmitted through a deer tick bite.

Symptoms

There are several symptoms that could indicate Lyme Disease. The most obvious is a red skin rash with the appearance of a bull’s eye which then leads to flu-like symptoms flu-like symptoms such as joint and muscle pain, fever, chills, headache, and stiff neck. If left untreated, Lyme Disease can spread to the nervous system, heart, and joints.

Prevention

To prevent contracting Lyme Disease, it’s recommended that you wear insect repellent around wooded areas as well as long sleeves and pant legs when walking in such areas, as this makes it more difficult for a tick to bite you. Be sure to check yourself and any of your animals for ticks after a trek outdoors. If you or a pet has been bitten, keep an eye out for the tell-tale symptoms.

Treatment

If you’ve come into contact with deer ticks and are experiencing symptoms of Lyme Disease, immediate care is the best route to minimizing any complications. You can walk in to AFC Urgent Care Waltham, any day from 8am to 8pm, and be examined by one of our board-certified physicians. No appointment or referral is needed.