A patient walks into the emergency department after being bitten by a deer tick. The patient is nervous about Lyme disease. The nurse informs the patient that


• Seroconversion of Lyme disease can take up to 6-8 weeks, leading to a 32% false-negative rate in the early stages of the disease.

• Lyme disease is caused by the Borrelia bacteria but is transmitted by deer ticks. Deer ticks need to be engorged or feed for at least 48 hours for transmission of the disease. Ticks that are removed before they become engorged or have fed for 48 hours are less likely to transmit Lyme disease.

• Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics (usually doxycycline).

• Early signs and symptoms include an expanding rash (bullseye), fever, malaise, muscle soreness, and headache.

• Late symptoms include paraplegia, numbness, pain, and encephalopathy.

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