Real-Life Challenge: Lyme Disease
A 27-year-old man has been experiencing flulike symptoms for 4 days. He reports headache, fatigue, joint pain, and “just not feeling well.” Vital signs are temperature of 102.28 ° F, pulse of 96, respirations of 20, and blood pressure of 132/86. Physical examination reveals two areas on the left lower leg that have a fading red rash in a circle type of pattern. The center of each circle is pale, and there is a possible spot in the center of each. Questioning discloses that the patient was deer hunting 5 days ago, walking through tall grass. He remembers experiencing itching on the lower left leg.
1. In what region of the country would you expect this patient to live?
2. What precautions should be taken by people who will be out walking in tall grass?
3. What should individuals who think they have been bitten by a tick do as soon as they discover the bite?
4. If Lyme disease is not diagnosed in its early stages, what complications may develop?
5. What is the causative agent of Lyme disease?
6. Discuss the prevention of Lyme disease.