Since March, most of the globe has been anxiously awaiting updates on COVID-19, the virus that has infected over 74 million people. One update was just released: the CDC has named new guidelines in terms of quarantining. Similarly, new guidelines have been announced for Lyme disease. This hasn’t happened in more than a decade. Keep reading to find out what they are!
New COVID-19 Guidelines
We were originally told that we should quarantine for 14 days if we are exposed to someone with COVID-19. The CDC has just updated this recommendation; if you are asymptomatic you can quarantine for ten days. This number is reduced to seven if you test negative.
In other coronavirus news, the FDA is slated to review Moderna’s vaccine on December 17. The company has applied for emergency use authorization (EUA), which would allow for immediate use. If it is approved, the CDC suggests that healthcare workers and people who work and live in long-term care facilities receive it first.
New Lyme Disease Guidelines
For the first time in 14 years, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, American Academy of Neurology, and American College of Rheumatology have updated their Lyme disease guidelines, which were published in Arthritis and Rheumatology.
The update includes 43 guidelines in regards to testing scenarios, the diagnostic process, general information, and more. Experts knew that these guidelines were in dire need of an update, and they also believe that they should be more of a “living document,” changing when needed.
In terms of diagnosis, they recommend looking for the characteristic rash of Lyme disease and utilizing serology. Specifically, they recommend two-tiered serologic testing that was approved in 2019. Turning to treatment, there have been no radical changes. They do stress that doxycycline only be used for short-term treatment, about ten days. They also emphasize that additional antibiotic treatment should not be used for chronic Lyme disease.
Hopefully, these guidelines improve the diagnostic and treatment processes for Lyme disease patients.
About Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a vector-borne disease spread through ticks. These ticks spread the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. According to the CDC, there are 30,000 new cases reported annually. Symptoms of this disease come in stages, and they progress depending on how long one has been infected. Three to 30 days after infection, a rash will appear at the site of the bite. Symptoms that follow include fever, chills, fatigue, headaches, pain in the muscles and joints, and swollen lymph nodes. In the days or months following infection, symptoms will evolve into severe headaches, additional rashes, neck stiffness, facial palsy, severe swelling and pain in the joints, arthritis, dizziness, shortness of breath, an irregular heartbeat, nerve pain, inflammation in the spinal cord and brain, shooting pains, numbness, tingling, and pain in the tendons, muscles, joints, and bones.
A diagnosis is obtained through the finding of characteristic symptoms, asking about exposure to ticks, ruling out other conditions, and various lab tests. A two step blood test will be conducted in order to confirm a diagnosis. Rapid diagnosis is necessary for effective treatment. If it is caught during the early stages, antibiotics are a quick cure. People may also develop post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, which requires additional treatment. Preventing tick bites or removing them quickly is a good way to prevent Lyme disease as well.
Find the source article here.