Lyme Disease Papers

Decent Essays

Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. The disease was first discovered in 1975 after a group of children were suffering from rheumatoid arthritis like disease. One similarity the children had was playing in wooded areas during the summer in the area of Lyme, Connecticut. However, the bacteria was not isolated until late 1981 by Dr. Willy Burgdorfer. Lyme disease has become an important public health problem in the Midwest and Eastern United States with incidence rates steadily increasing.
Borrelia burgodoferi is transmitted into humans and mammals by the Ixodes scapularis known as the deer tick or blacklegged tick. The disease cannot be transmitted from person to person contact. Pets can cause an increased rate of infected ticks to a home but cannot transmit the disease to their owners. The ticks have a 2 year life cycle that includes larval, nymphal, and adult stages. It is during the nymphal and adult stages that the disease is transmitted. …show more content…

The first stage involves the hallmark of the disease, having a bullseye like rash known as erythema migrans at the site of the bite, and also flu like symptoms such as fatigue, fever, and headache. Not all individuals experience the erythema migrans so it is not a required finding for the diagnosis of the disease. If left untreated, the disease will advance to the second stage. The second stage is known as the early disseminated stage, and is when the infection has progressed to other areas of the body. It can involve additional erythema migrans on different parts of the body, Bell’s palsy, inflammation of the spinal cord, swelling the joints, and heart palpitations. Like other spirochete infections, such as syphilis, the disease can have various asymptomatic periods (Bhate, 2011). The third stage, can result in arthritic bouts and neurological issues such as numbness in different parts of the body and/or short term memory

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