Lyme disease: symptoms and therapies

Following a tick bite it is possible to contract Lyme disease, or borreliosis, which can cause, even after some time, a wide variety of symptoms.

Lyme disease takes its name from the American town where the disease was first detected. The etiopathogenesis is due to a spiral bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, which can infest ticks, which in turn can then transmit the disease to humans and animals.


The symptoms of Lyme disease are several and are deefferenzied depending on the stage of the disease, although not all patients report them.

First stage Skin erythema (erythema migrans)

Muscle and joint pain


Neck stiffness



Facial paralysis


Brief episodes of joint swelling

Eye inflammation


Faito short


Second stage Intermittent or chronic arthritis

Difficulty concentrating

Mood swings or insomnia


Psychotic or depressive syndromes

Attention disorders

List of Bell’s palsy episodes


Infectious myelitis

Third stage Amnesia

Behavioral disorders

The most typical symptom is erythema migrans, caused by the bite of the tick, with the characteristic shape of a target, a red central shadow surrounded by light-colored skin. It is generally not painful and does not itch. Unfortunately, not all patients have it.

The most common symptoms, which could mislead the diagnosis, are similar to flu. Generally, it comes to the last stage if the disease is not diagnosed promptly or is treated inappropriately.


Diagnosis during the first stage of the disease is based on the detection of B. burgdorferi by culture analysis and PCR, while in the second and third stages on the measurement of the levels of antibodies that increase in the serum of patients.

Therapy and prophylaxis

The therapy of choice, if the disease is diagnosed in time, is based on doxycline, amoxicillin and cefuroxime. Unfortunately, however, the disease can be contracted several times during a lifetime.

Given the increased diffusion in the USA, Yale University has been generated a vaccine by genetic engineering, capable of preventing the disease. At the moment, however, it is only usable in the United States.

Although the duration of immunity conferred is not yet known, vaccination is only recommended for people between the ages of 15 and 70, who live or spend most of the day in tick-infested areas that can transmit Lyme borreliosis.


Lyme disease is not transmitted from person to person. Ticks generally prefer to bite in particular places of the body: behind the ears, behind the neck, in the armpits, in the groin or behind the knees.

If you are in wooded areas (where ticks are more widespread), it is good to take some precautions that can reduce the risk of being stung and therefore contracting Lyme disease. Here are the main ones:

  • wear closed shoes and boots, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, possibly pastel colored so as to be able to identify ticks more easily
  • tie long hair or protect it inside a hat
  • Do not sit on the grass and check for ticks on the body
  • Wash all clothing before leaving tick-infested areas, including head and body, to eliminate any hidden parasites.

Joycelyn Elders is the author and creator of EmpowerEssence, a health and wellness blog. Elders is a respected public health advocate and pediatrician dedicated to promoting general health and well-being.

The blog covers a wide range of topics related to health and wellness, with articles organized into several categories.

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