A Study On Lyme Disease

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Lyme disease is most commonly transmitted to humans by black legged deer ticks that carry a spirochete called Borrelia burgdorferi (Kruger, p. 23, 2010). Spirochete are a type of bacteria which have surrounding filaments attached to their cell walls that help propel it through aqueous environments (Porth, p.302, 2015). Deer ticks can only pass it on if they have fed from an infected host such as small mammals, like mice and squirrels, however, when the tick matures into adult, it prefers the white tailed deer as a host (Kruger, p.23, 2010). The deer themselves do not carry the disease, however they play an important role in the spread of this spirochete. The deer tick only infects it’s host with the Borrelia burgdorferi at the end of a…show more content…
(Moore, p.65, 2015). There is variability in the course of the disease in this stage. Approximately 50% of infected patients will also develop flu-like symptoms (Nichols & Windermuth, 2013). Twenty percent of infected patients will present with repeated erythema migrans, forty percent will present with multiple rashes and in one-third of fortunate patients, the disease will not continue to progress (Kruger, p.24, 2010). The early disseminated stage marks when Lyme disease becomes systemic and effects the musculoskeletal, cardiac and neurological systems. It can occur weeks to months after the bite when the spirochete travels to organs via hematologic or lymphatic channels (Nichols & Windermuth p.363, 2013). Infected patients may present with a long list of secondary diagnoses such as lymphadenopathy, meningtitis, Bell’s palsy, cranial neuritis, radiculoneuritis, arterioventricular block as well as joint and muscle pain. (Nichols & Windemuth, p363, 2013). The late disseminated stage occurs with patients who did not receive adequate treatment during earlier stages and occurs months to years following the initial infection (Moore, p66, 2015). These individuals often present with rheumatoid arthritis and neuropathies. Approximately 60% will have arthritis in their knees, and 5% will develop paresthesia, and cognitive issues such as short term memory loss (Moore, p66, 2015). The literature is controversial
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