Posted: 8/16/2012 11:20 AM by
Interim HealthCare

Summer & fall are times to be outdoors—gardening, walking or simply enjoying the warm weather. Unfortunately, being more active outside also increases your chance of encountering a blacklegged tick, the carriers of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.


A blacklegged tick is extremely small, and they are very hard to see. Generally, an infected tick has to be attached to your body for 24 to 36 hours for the bacteria to spread to your blood. There are three stages of Lyme disease, and the symptoms may come and go. If the condition is not treated, it can spread to the brain, heart and joints.


Symptoms of Stage 1 (early localized) Lyme disease include:

  • Body-wide itching
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • General ill-feeling
  • Headache
  • Light-headedness or fainting
  • Muscle pain
  • Stiff neck
  • A “bull’s eye” rash

Symptoms of Stage 2 (early disseminated) Lyme disease can appear in the weeks and months following the tick bite, and they include:

  • Paralysis or weakness in the muscles of the face
  • Muscle pain and pain or swelling in the knees and other large joints
  • Heart problems, such as skipped heartbeats (palpitations)

Months or even years after infection, people in Stage 3 (late disseminated) Lyme disease can experience the following symptoms:

  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Abnormal muscle movement
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Speech problems

Lyme disease is diagnosed through a blood test known as an ELISA, which checks for antibodies to the bacteria that causes the condition.  If the ELISA test is positive, it is followed by a Western blot test that will confirm the diagnosis. Treatment of confirmed Lyme disease includes a two to four week course of antibiotics. The type of antibiotics used will vary depending on the stage of the disease and the symptoms.


At Interim HealthCare we offer in home health care through our Home Health Services to assist you in handling any of your medical needs, including a diagnosis of Lyme disease. Regardless of your condition, our skilled professionals, which include registered nurses and physical and occupational therapists, provide you with the help you need to heal at home. In addition, our Home Care programs are available to aid you with whatever support or assistance you need to continue living in your own home.