Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus MRSA and Lyme Disease Essay

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  • Subject: Nursing
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Excerpt from Essay :

Lyme Disease and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)


This text will concern itself with Lyme disease and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In so doing, it will not only give the description and epidemiology of the concerns, but also the etiology and prevention strategies. Further, diagnosis as well as treatment options and prognosis will be highlighted.

1. Lyme Disease

Description and Etiology

Described as an illness that is often debilitating, Lyme disease, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- CDC (2018) points out, “is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks.” It is important to note that in addition to the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, blacklegged ticks are capable of transmitting what are commonly referred to as coinfections, i.e. a variety of other disease-causing parasites as well as viruses and bacteria. Those living in wooded areas have a high likelihood of getting Lyme disease, as are persons whose domestic animals loiter around areas that are wooded.


CDC (2018) points out that Lyme disease is diagnosed on the basis of “symptoms, physical findings (e.g. rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks.” In essence, according to Murray and Shapiro (2010) the disease’s clinical manifestations are grouped into the following brackets:

a) Early localized disease

b) Early disseminated disease

c) Late disease

During early localized disease, which is often 7 to 14 days after an individual is bitten by a tick, the said person could develop rash (erythema migrans) which is typically located on the tick bite site (Murray and Shapiro, 2010). The rash often disappears within a period of approximately 1 month. The second stage of the disease, i.e. early disseminated disease, is occasioned by the spread of bacteria and could present a number of symptoms that are flu-like. These include fever and chills. Other symptoms include, but they are not limited to, fatigue and enlarged lymph nodes. According to Murray and Shapiro (2010), an individual will also present multiple erythema migrans and other manifestations such as carditis and meningitis. Lastly, we have stage 3, i.e. late disease, which comes about after failure to treat the infection during the first two stages. For this reason, stage 3 could take a long time to develop. The clinical manifestations at this stage, according to Murray and Shapiro (2010), include encephalitis and arthritis. An individual could also experience limb numbness, memory loss ( target='_blank' href=''>short-term), and severe headaches.


According to CDC (2018), antibiotics are in most cases effective in the treatment of the disease. Towards this end, “patients typically take doxycycline for 10 days to 3 weeks, or amoxicillin and cefuroxime for 2 to 3 weeks” (WebMD, 2018). On the basis of clinical manifestations, treatment could either be administered orally or intravenously. For instance, during the early localized stage where the patient presents erythema migrans, antibiotics could be administered orally, while during stage 3, whereby a patient presents encephalitis, intravenous administration of antibiotics is adopted (Murray and Shapiro, 2010).


Antibiotics are quite successful in the treatment of Lyme disease. This is more so the case if the said disease is diagnosed early enough, i.e. during the first two stages. Fatalities are rare. It is, however, important to note that even after treatment using antibiotics, a certain percentage of people may still not show any improvement. According to Aucott (as cited in WebMD, 2018), “ten percent of people don’t get better after antibiotics.” In such cases, there exists no other viable treatment options (WebMD, 2018). It should also be noted that reinfection could still occur even after successful treatment. Towards this end, the relevance of prevention efforts cannot be overstated. These will be highlighted elsewhere in this text.


In essence, Lyme disease is regarded to be Europe and America’s most prevalent tickborne infection (Domino, Baldor, Golding, and Stephens, 2017). In the words of Mead (2015), the specific species of lxodes ticks that transmits the etiologic agent to humans “are found widely in temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere” (Mead, 2015, p. 187). More specifically, in the U.S., a significant percentage (up to 95%) of Lyme disease cases was reported in a total of fourteen states in the year 2016. CDC (as cited in WebMD, 2018) identified these states as “Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.” It should be noted that amongst the fourteen states identified above, New Jersey and Pennsylvania were the most affected – with both reporting a huge number of infection cases. According to the CDC (as cited in WebMD, 2018), each year, the U.S. experiences approximately 300,000 of Lyme infection cases. The rate of infection is expected to keep increasing going forward. However, the black-legged tick, as various experts have pointed out, appears to be expanding its range particularly towards “the southern and western U.S. and into Canada”, effectively meaning “that the number of Lyme disease cases in North America will climb” (WebMD, 2018).


There are various prevention efforts that could be adopted in an attempt to keep…

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