Lyme Disease : A Rapidly Spreading Infectious Disease

1666 Words Aug 10th, 2015 7 Pages
Introduction

Lyme disease is a rapidly spreading infectious disease in the United States, with over 25,000 confirmed cases in 2013.5 It was first discovered in the early-1970’s in the town of Lyme, Connecticut when a group of children started to present with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Some of these children presented with a rash and researchers connected the symptoms to occurring during peak tick season. By the mid-1970’s, the researchers began describing the symptoms and coining the term “Lyme disease” to help doctors diagnose the condition. The cause, however, was not discovered until 1981 by researchers at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana and finally the connection between deer ticks and Lyme disease was made.4
Disease Description

Lyme disease, as defined by Goodman and Fuller, is an infectious multisystem disorder that is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, which is caused by a deer tick or blacklegged tick bite. Patients who have contracted Lyme disease often time present with symptoms that can imitate a variety of other diseases. It is important to note that symptoms may not develop right away or at all and if they present they can vary dependent on the patient.
If symptoms do present, they are split up into stages chronologically. Stage 1 is the early and localized stage and is seen 3 to 30 days after infection (7 days on average).2 This is when a red, slowly expanding rash (Erythma migrans or “bull’s eye” rash) will appear on…

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