Early disseminated or secondary Lyme disease is an inflammatory disease caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.
Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. Early disseminated Lyme disease develops within days to months after the tick bite. The infection spreads through the lymph system or bloodstream.
Some patients will remember having a tick bite or symptoms of primary (stage 1) Lyme disease. Some patients with early disseminated or secondary Lyme disease may not have any history of symptoms, tick bites, or skin rashes.
Lyme disease can affect the central nervous system and heart (cardiac system). Symptoms can come and go and may disappear after days, weeks, or months.
Other symptoms that can occur with this disease:
A physical examination may show signs of nervous system (neurological) or heart problems.
Tests that may be done include:
The objective of treatment is to get rid of the infection with antibiotics. The medicines are given for up to 28 days. A second round of antibiotics may be needed. The most commonly used antibiotics are doxycycline, amoxicillin, cefuroxime, and ceftriaxone.
Antibiotics given through a vein (intravenous) are needed for patients who develop serious nervous system-related complications or arthritis that does not get better with medicines taken by mouth.
Symptoms of arthritis may not respond to treatment. Other symptoms should improve with treatment.
Rarely, a person will continue to have symptoms that can sometimes interfere with daily activities. Some people call this post-Lyme disease syndrome. There is no effective treatment for this syndrome.
Complications include chronic persistent Lyme disease.
Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms of this disorder.
Getting diagnosed early and treating Lyme disease with antibiotics are the most effective ways to prevent secondary Lyme disease.
When walking or hiking in wooded or grassy areas:
Check yourself and your pets frequently during and after your walk or hike. Ticks that carry Lyme disease are so small that they are very hard to see. After returning home, remove your clothes and thoroughly inspect all skin surface areas, including your scalp.
Lyme disease - secondary or stage 2; Stage 2 Lyme disease, Bannwarth syndrome; Secondary Lyme disease