How Do Ticks Get Lyme Disease?

When Ticks bite animals such as deer and mice that are already infected they get infected with the bacterium known as Borrelia burgdorferi which causes Lyme Disease. All the ticks that bite people are not infected and only a few people get Lyme Disease as a result of Tick bite. Longer the tick bites the body more the risk for contracting Lyme Disease.

The symptoms of Lyme Disease will be visible within 2 – 4 weeks of the tick bite. In most of the cases, the bitten spot develops circular, expanding rash which is called erythema migrans. Additional rashes may also develop and the arms or legs may have pain and weakness.

The other symptoms of Lyme Disease include paralysis of facial muscles, headache, loss of memory, loss of control of facial muscles and rapid heartbeat. Normally the black-legged ticks transmit Lyme Disease. The dog tick and the lone star tick will not transmit Lyme disease. The Lyme Disease bacterium is infected into the human body when the infected ticks bite the body.

Though the black-legged tick can attach to any part of human body they are often found in parts such as scalp, armpits and groin which are difficult to see. When the ticks are attached to the body for 36 – 48 hours or more, the Lyme disease bacterium will be transmitted.


In majority of cases, infection of Lyme Disease in humans is caused by nymphs, which are in fact immature ticks. These tiny ticks are invisible and are much less than 2mm. These ticks are fed during spring as well as summer season.

Though adult ticks can also transmit Lyme Disease, due to their larger size, they are easily discovered and removed from the body before they transmit the disease causing bacteria. Lyme Disease is not transmitted from tick to tick during the breeding process.

Ticks are not born with Lyme Disease and they are not carriers of Lyme Disease bacteria. The ticks get infected with Lyme Disease when they feed on mammals. Once ticks are infected with Lyme Disease, the disease causing bacteria move to the salivary glands of the ticks and is added to the food when they feed. 

Lyme Disease Prevention

The contracted ticks when bite humans, dogs and cats, they get infection. There is no guarantee that a person who is bitten by a tick which is already infected with Lyme Disease will also get Lyme Disease. It requires more than 24 hours for the disease causing bacteria to get transferred from the infected tick into the human body and cause Lyme Disease.

Searching for ticks that are attached to the body and getting rid of them immediately is the most effective method for prevention of Lyme Disease.


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