top of page

Lyme Disease Treatment and Transmission

Lyme Disease Treatment and Transmission

Lyme Disease Treatment

ILADS GuidelinesBurrascano’s Guidelines

  • 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:

  • black-legged ticks         

  • brown dog ticks      

  • fleas               

  • horse flies                  

  • mites

  • American dog ticks      

  • deer flies                  

  • mosquitoes*

  • wood ticks


* 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.

bottom of page