Welcome Visitor
Tue, May 30, 2023
162 members
Paramedic’s Corner: Lyme Disease doesn’t always include bullseye rash
Paramedic’s Corner: Lyme Disease doesn’t always include bullseye rash

Ambulance Director Gary Carmack
Following part I of this article I received some comments from readers that the hallmark clinical sign of Lyme disease wasn’t present when they got Lyme disease. This is in reference to the change in skin color with central clearing causing the so-called “bull’s eye.”

This rash is called erythema migrans. It is a circular rash that continues to grow, but in many cases the rash does not happen. The lack of the rash can cause a misdiagnosis.

Most tick fever patients have flu-type symptoms, such as fatigue, malaise, headache, muscle aches, joint pain and sometimes a rash. The problem is that if left untreated, the results can be serious or even fatal for the patient. The best advice I can give is if you get a tick bite and begin to get sick, see your physician immediately and tell her or him that you feel sick and had a tick bite. Raising the awareness is what this article is about.

Part I last week ended with descriptions of stages one and two of Lyme disease. The third or late stage is a state of persistent infection, which can occur months or years after initial exposure. This can be the same serious neurological complications as the second stage; however the patient may develop encephalopathy (an abnormal condition of the structure or function of the brain) with defects in mental ability, loss of memory, depression, and sleep disorders. The patient might have tremendous large joint problems and in more than one joint (polyarthritis).

Besides awareness the next important of this article is prevention strategies. The first thing to remember is screening for ticks. Do a complete body check if you have been in an area with potential for ticks. Check children carefully. Be sure and check in the hair. If you find a tick remove it immediately. Do not try old remedies like smothering the tick, burning it and so on. Just firmly grasp the tick, use fine-tipped tweezers if needed, and pull the tick in a steady motion from you. Then wash the area with soap and water.

The second preventative strategy is to use insect repellent. I use repellent with DEET. Whichever product you use, be sure and follow the directions carefully.

To summarize: to protect you and your family from Lyme Disease, be sure and see your doctor if you have flu-like symptoms following a tick bite, especially with a rash, fatigue, and if any arthritis type pain. Arthritis develops in about 60 percent of patients within weeks to months (sometimes up to two years). Be proactive by careful screening for ticks and use repellents with DEET, following the directions very carefully.

Related articles

THIS ARTICLE: Paramedic’s Corner: Lyme Disease doesn't always include bullseye rash (Part II)
Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Paramedic’s Corner: Trouble with ticks and early signs of Lyme Disease (Part I)
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Click here to follow the Pulaski County Daily News on Twitter
Click here to follow the Pulaski County Daily News on Facebook

Click here to comment for local opinion

Printer-friendly format

Do you know someone else who would like to see this?
Your Email:
Their Email:
(Will be included with e-mail)
Secret Code

In the box below, enter the Secret Code exactly as it appears above *


Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: