What to do if you are bitten

If you get bit by a tick safely remove it with tweezers or a tick removal device. You do not want to squeeze the tick with your fingers as that can inject more tick saliva and pathogens into you. Place the removed tick in a jar or well sealed ziplock bag and freeze it. Get a permanent marker and date it. Mark the bite on your calendar  If symptoms emerge days or weeks later, you have the tick that can be tested for pathogens. Some people send the tick in right away to be tested. They want to know if they or a loved one has been exposed to a tick borne infection.

These organizations test ticks for pathogens. Now you might be wondering why is it so important to test the tick and all that? You see, acute Lyme disease is treatable. Directly after a tick bite, patients that are symptomatic are given 6-8 weeks of antibiotics (to cover two Borrelia reproduction cycles). If caught and treated in time, people can fully recover from Borrelia. If Lyme is left untreated it burrows deep into your body; into joints, muscles, organs, the brain, and hides inside biofilms and is very difficult to recover from. 

There are some folks who catch the bite right away, get appropriate treatment and their symptoms still linger on. Borrelia is a very intelligent bug and can hide from the immune system and shape shift. Many Lyme literate doctors prescribe antibiotics along side herbs when dealing with an acute Lyme infection to give patients their best chance at a full recovery.

If you are exposed to Lyme Disease the sooner you receive treatment the better chance you have to fully recover. 

There is A LOT of controversy about how long to treat, what to treat with and so on and so forth. The current CDC guidelines recommends 10-21 days of antibiotics. If your doctor offers you less than that they are not following IDSA/CDC guidelines and are in the realm of malpractice. Many feel this is not enough treatment. ILADS guidelines recommends 4-6 weeks of antibiotics. Now here’s where it get tricky (as if it weren’t before). Treating beyond the IDSA/CDC guidelines can also be deemed as working in the realms of malpractice. Many doctors who follow ILADS guidelines could be in danger of loosing their medical licenses. They often cannot except insurance. People have literally been shouting and protesting in the streets for decades in front of the CDC and IDSA buildings to get the guidelines changed.  Until the CDC changes their stance, getting access to care is complicated. To further confuse the situation, some Lyme literate doctors advise 8 weeks of antibiotics. Some recommend following up with herbs for 3-6 months after antibiotic use.

Important Articles:

Controversies & Challenges in Treating Lyme and Other Tick-borne Diseases

Severe, lingering symptoms seen in some patients after Lyme disease treatment

Persistent Borrelia Infection in Patients with Ongoing Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Lyme bug stronger than antibiotics in animals and test tubes. Now study people.

The Big Number: Lyme disease is now in 100 percent of the U.S.


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