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Lyme Disease in Children. The Lyme Disease Bacterium

Lyme borreliosis is the most common tick-transmitted disease in the world. Although it is highly treatable in its early stages, the infection is characterized by a wide range of neurological disorders that can substantially affect the quality of life and well-being of the infected persons. This report will discuss the illness’s pathophysiology and symptoms, necessary nursing interventions and recommended treatment, and patient education on the condition and prescribed medications.

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Pathophysiology and Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Lyme borreliosis is typical for regions with a large infestation of ticks responsible for spreading the infection. The illness occurs in individuals of any age who were bitten by a tick carrying spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria (Thompson, Sorenson, Greenmyer, Brissette, & Watt, 2020). Despite the expanding knowledge of the infection, little is known on how the bacteria enter the central nervous system and its pathophysiology (Thompson et al., 2020). The host organism’s inflammatory response is a significant factor in the pathogenesis, aiding in spreading the infection via the lymphatic system (Thompson et al., 2020). Thus, the immune system of the infected person cannot protect the organism from the infection.

There are several clinical stages of the disease, which are manifested via a range of symptoms. The first stage of Lyme borreliosis is characterized by erythema migrans in the site of the bite (Cardenas-de la Garza, De la Cruz-Valadez, Ocampo-Candiani, & Welsh, 2019). In the second stage, the erythema migrans rash spreads further, and the patient begins to experience such syndromes as lymphocytoma, neuroborreliosis, and carditis (Cardenas-de la Garza et al., 2019). The third stage symptoms include the development of arthritis, acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans (ACA), and various neurological disorders (Cardenas-de la Garza et al., 2019). It should be noted that Lyme disease has no evident effects on the developmental milestones of pediatric patients.

Nursing Interventions

Several nursing interventions are implemented for pediatric patients with Lyme disease. They include musculoskeletal, cardiac, and dermatological examinations, assessing the patient’s vital signs and symptoms, treating the rash associated with the infection, drug application, and education (Wright, 2018). Nurses are also responsible for collecting the patient’s medical history, including information on chronic conditions, allergies, recent infections (Wright, 2018). These interventions are critical for the diagnosis and the following treatment of Lyme disease.

Patient and Parent Education

It is imperative to educate the diagnosed patients and their parents or guardians on Lyme disease’s symptoms and treatments. Specifically, nursing practitioners should inform the parents about the infection’s progression and pathophysiology for the latter to detect any deterioration in their children’s condition. Parents must also be educated on all medications prescribed to their children, including dosage and potential side effects. Nurses can deliver this instruction to the patients and their parents in face-to-face conversation and via specially designed brochures.


Medications prescribed to pediatric patients with Lyme borreliosis varies slightly from those recommended for adults. Children are usually prescribed doxycycline, amoxicillin, cefuroxime axetil, or azithromycin (Wright, 2018). Second stage Lyme disease is treated with ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, or doxycycline, with patients with the late-stage condition being recommended the same oral and intravenous antibiotics (Wright, 2018). Pediatric patients’ parents or guardians must be advised of the prescribed antibiotics’ recommended doses and their side effects. For example, doxycycline dosage equals a maximum of 100 mg twice per day for the first stage of the infection and up to 200 mg per day for later stages (Wright, 2018). Meanwhile, typical side effects of the antibiotics recommended for Lyme disease treatment include allergic reactions, diarrhea, cholecystitis, and gastrointestinal bleeding in severe cases (Rauer et al., 2018). Overall, the patients’ parents should be made aware of the recommended dosage and side effects of all prescribed medications.


Lyme borreliosis is an infectious disease caused by tick bites. The illness is characterized by various symptoms, including erythema migrans, carditis, lymphocytoma, neuroborreliosis, arthritis, and neurological disorders. The condition can easily be treated with such antibiotics as doxycycline, amoxicillin, cefuroxime axetil, among others. Nursing practitioners must educate the pediatric patients’ parents on the disease and available treatments and their side effects as young children cannot be responsible for their medication.

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Cardenas-de la Garza, J. A., De la Cruz-Valadez, E., Ocampo-Candiani, J., & Welsh, O. (2019). Clinical spectrum of Lyme disease. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, 38, 201–208.

Rauer, S., Kastenbauer, S., Fingerle, V., Hunfeld, K. P., Huppertz, H. I., & Dersch, R. (2018). Lyme Neuroborreliosis. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 115(45), 751–756. Web.

Thompson, D., Sorenson, J., Greenmyer, J., Brissette, C. A., & Watt, J. A. (2020). The Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, stimulates an inflammatory response in human choroid plexus epithelial cells. PLOS ONE, 15(7), 1–23. Web.

Wright, W. F. (2018). Essentials of clinical infectious diseases (2nd ed.). Springer Publishing Company.

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