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Lyme disease

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Introduction
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread to humans by infected ticks. Ticks are small arachnids that feed on the blood of mammals, including humans.
Symptoms of Lyme disease
The most common symptom of early stage Lyme disease is a distinctive circular skin rash. If left untreated, Lyme disease may lead to more serious symptoms.
Causes of Lyme disease
Lyme disease is caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. The bacteria are present in the blood of many different animals including mice, deer, pheasants and blackbirds.
Diagnosing Lyme disease
Lyme disease can be a difficult condition to diagnose, particularly in its latter stages. This is because its symptoms are also shared by other, more common conditions, such as infections and arthritis.
Treating Lyme disease
Antibiotic tablets are recommended for treating Lyme disease. Most people will require a two to four week course of antibiotics depending on the stage of the condition.
Preventing Lyme disease
There is currently no vaccine available to prevent Lyme disease. The best way to prevent getting Lyme disease is to be aware of the risks when you visit areas where ticks are likely to be found and to take sensible precautions.