Lyme disease, which is transmitted by ticks, hides in other cases

Lyme disease, which is transmitted by ticks, hides in other cases

Lyme disease, which is transmitted by ticks, hides in other casesGirona newspaper

Lyme disease, which is mainly transmitted by ticks, is called the “big imitator,” because its symptoms are confused with those of many other diseases: fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson's disease, ALS) or immune diseases. Endogenous (Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, polyarthritis). sclerosis). The Spanish Society of General Practitioners and Family Physicians (SEMG) suspects that many patients diagnosed with these diseases are in fact cases of Lyme disease. It is an infection caused mainly by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi which can affect various organs and tissues, especially the motor and nervous systems. It can take months or years for symptoms to appear, making diagnosis difficult and can lead to ineffective treatment or contraindications.

Lyme disease was not recognized as a separate entity until 1976, due to an outbreak among children in the Lyme region (Connecticut, USA) who were thought to suffer from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Rising temperatures due to climate change and increased animal host populations, such as wild boar, deer and rabbits, have caused tick numbers to skyrocket. That's why primary care doctors and specialists from the SOS Lyme Foundation have launched a campaign to warn about the danger of these arthropod bites and provide guidance on how to protect yourself and how to extract them safely.

Hospitalizations for Lyme disease have almost tripled (191.8% more) in Spain in recent years, according to the National Center of Epidemiology. The infection rate increased in all communities except Extremadura, where Navarra, Catalonia, the Basque Country and Murcia lead hospital revenues. Although some famous cases have contributed to its spread – such as singer Avril Lavigne, actor Alec Baldwin and presenter Jorge Fernandez – the disease remains largely unknown.

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Symptoms include headache, joint and muscle pain, rash, fatigue, fever, difficulty coordinating, facial paralysis, irregular heartbeat, and hearing loss. If early containment measures are not applied, it can lead to chronic and severe Lyme disease, which can cause death. Diagnosis at an early stage and prescription of appropriate antimicrobial therapy usually avoids hospitalization.

A study recently published in the Journal of Veterinary Science warned that ticks not only inhabit forests, but also parks and gardens. This is why dog ​​and cat owners should be aware of potential discomfort from their pets when they return from outside, especially if they have been in contact with grass and shrubs.

If a tick is detected, it must be extracted with a rotary twist using special hooks. If the tick is squeezed, either with tweezers or fingers, “there is a risk that bacteria from its digestive tract will enter the blood,” explains Dr. Mariano Bueno, president of SOS Lyme. Veterinarian German Quintana recommends products containing isoxazoline for dogs and cats.

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