Lot’s of emails and phone calls lately about what to do for tick bites and bullseye rashes...
I fully support and advocate the use of herbs, homeopathy, and all things integrative (I have used them all myself) as well as antibiotics and antimalarials for chronic Lyme disease and co-infections; in combination, on their own etc... Everyone and each scenario is different. But for early infection, thorough and timely antibiotic treatment can prevent a chronic, more severe and complex illness.
Here are a few quick facts:
For a new, embedded tick bite, with no signs or symptoms of disease, 28 days of antibiotic therapy is necessary. An embedded tick can transmit disease in as few as 4 hours.
If you get a bullseye/circular rash (erythema migrans), which can occur 4 days to several weeks after a tick bite, you have Lyme disease and no test is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Six weeks of antibiotic therapy at minimum is necessary.
If you are having some symptoms, treat until symptom free and for an additional 2 months to prevent relapse.
If you get a flu-like illness in the summer when no one close to you has been ill, be wary of Lyme disease and co-infections; other infections you can get from a tick bite include Bartonella hensalae, Babesiosis, Tularemia, Ehrlichiosis, Mycoplasma.
The two standard Lyme tests commonly used are the ELISA test which means enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and the Western Blot. They are both antibody tests which look for the bodies immune response to the infection as opposed to the actual bacteria. The ELISA test is the most widely used and very often produces a false-negative (50% of the time). The Western Blot is more sensitive so request this from your doctor if you suspect you are infected. Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis based on symptoms, not on a positive test result. You can have Lyme and never get a positive test result.
Always take probiotics during and after antibiotic therapy. This is not optional!
Ticks that can transmit infection include: Deer ticks, American Dog ticks, Lone Star tick, Black-legged tick, Rocky Mountain Wood ticks. Types of ticks vary according to where you live.
I am not a doctor and always recommend speaking to a specialist specific to your condition. The above facts were taken from the following resources: