Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by 3 separate bacteria from the Borrelia family. The name of the disease come from the town of Lyme, Connecticut, where many cases broke out in 1975. In 1978 Harvard professor Allen Steere discovered that the disease was transferred to humans from ticks, but it wasn’t until 1981 when Willy Burgdorfer identified the bacteria involved. Symptoms of the disease are reported to be fever, fatigue, headache and circular skin rash. If it isn’t treated promptly it can cause problems with the joints, nervous system and heart. In very rare cases the disease can cause death. The disease can also cause long term effects, known as chronic Lyme disease, even in people who have been successfully are treated. Let’s take a look at the treatment for this disease.
What is the treatment for Lyme disease?
The disease is caused by a bacteria, which means that the treatment for Lyme disease is antibiotics. The choice of antibiotics usually depends on the stage of the disease and the personal circumstances of the patient. The most common antibiotic used for Lyme disease is doxycycline for adults and amoxicillin for children. Other drugs used to treat the disease are erythromycin (for pregnant women), ceftriaxone, cefuroxime and cefotaxime. A treatment course of 10-28 days is most commonly used.
The treatment of chronic Lyme disease is a controversial topic. There is no doubt the disease exists and the long lasting symptoms are severe. However, many experts, including Allen Steere who discovered the disease, are concerned that it is being diagnosed in people that have never shown evidence of the disease. There has been much research done into chronic Lyme disease, but treatments with long term antibiotics have shown to be largely ineffective.
Did you know?
Lyme disease is only found in the Northern Hemisphere and it is one of the fastest-growing infectious diseases in the region.
A vaccine for Lyme disease was released to the public in 1999, but low sales meant that it was removed for sale in 2002.