Lyme Disease Treatment
- Treatment is most successful if begun promptly.
- Do not wait for test results, which are usually negative early in the illness.
- Lyme disease is a bacterial infection treated with antibiotics.
- Doxycycline is the usual treatment for adults.
- Children are often given amoxicillin.
- If people get a high fever, there could be a coinfection with ehrlichiosis or spotted fever, in which case the CDC recommends doxycycline, even to children.
- Lyme disease specialists recommend at least 4 to 6 weeks of treatment.
- Dr. Burrascano recommends treatment for at least 4 weeks after all symptoms are gone, to prevent a relapse.
- If the disease is not treated promptly and adequately in the early stage, the disease can become chronic.
- Chronic Lyme disease may require years of antibiotics, changing to different antibiotics from time to time.
- People who have neurological symptoms or who don’t respond to oral treatment may benefit from months or even a year or more of IV treatment.
- A healthy diet and vitamins & supplements are helpful.
Lyme Disease Transmission
- Not transmitted via casual contact.
- Usually transmitted by a tick bite.
- Can be transmitted through bites by fleas, horseflies, deer flies, and occasionally mosquitoes.
- Can pass through the placenta to an unborn baby if a pregnant mother has Lyme disease.
- Has been found in tears, sweat, semen, vaginal fluid, and stored blood.
- Possibly sexually transmitted; research is needed.
- Can survive in stored blood. We don’t yet know whether it is being transmitted via blood transfusion.
- People with Lyme disease should not donate blood or organs.
Lyme disease Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) bacteria have been found in:
blacklegged ticks brown dog ticks fleas
lone star ticks horse flies mites
American dog ticks deer flies mosquitoes*
* A study found that a mosquito did transmit Lyme disease bacteria to a hamster. Some people have been diagnosed with Lyme disease after a mosquito bite.