How does a person get Lyme disease

BORRELIOSIS

Most infections with Borrelia go unnoticed. However, if there are complaints, these are very different and can occur at different times individually or in combination. This means that borreliosis is not always easy to recognize.

A typical sign that occurs in around 90% of cases is the so-called wandering redness (erythema migrans). This is an at least 5 cm ring-shaped reddening of the skin, which is usually paler in the middle than on the edge and slowly spreads outwards over days. Wandering redness develops three to 30 days after the tick bite in the area of ​​the puncture site. However, it can also occur on other parts of the body, such as the legs, head or neck. Fever, lymph node swelling, muscle and joint pain are also possible in the further course of the disease. Nodular or bluish-red swellings of the skin occur much less often and predominantly in children. These skin changes are mainly found on the ear, on the nipples or in the genital area.

In individual cases, chronic inflammation of the skin (acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans) can occur. The skin on the inside of the arms, legs, fingers or toes changes and becomes paper-thin and bluish as the process progresses.

If the Borrelia attack the nervous system, it is called neuroborreliosis. This occurs in around three out of 100 people with the disease. Symptoms of neuroborreliosis usually begin a few weeks to months after the tick bite. Burning nerve pains are typical and worsen especially at night. This is often accompanied by facial paralysis on one or both sides. Inflammatory nerve irritation is also possible, leading to numbness, visual or hearing impairment and, in rare cases, paralysis of the trunk, arms or legs. In children, neuroborreliosis manifests itself more often in the form of non-purulent meningitis, which can be accompanied by severe headaches or sudden facial paralysis. Late neuroborreliosis can very rarely develop over months to years.

About five out of 100 sufferers develop inflammation of the joints (Lyme arthritis). They most often affect the knee joints, less often the ankle or elbow joints, and are usually intermittent and recurring.

Very rarely, in the course of the disease, the heart can also be affected, with inflammation or arrhythmias of the heart.