What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium (bacteria) called Borrelia burgdorferi that is transmitted to humans through an infected tick or other methods. Bacteria can enter the body at any point after a bite or exposure. Early symptoms can show up anywhere from 2-30 days or even years after the initial tick bite.
Current testing for Lyme Disease ranges between 20%-50% accuracy dependent on testing method. Because of inaccurate testing, Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis. If you suspect an infection, a knowledgeable doctor should always be consulted for proper testing. If left untreated or treated ineffectively, Lyme disease can become chronic, systemic, neurological, psychiatric, and cardiological.
Lyme disease can be contracted via other methods such as other insect bites, transmission from mother to child via placenta and breast milk, exposure to contaminated blood, and possibly even sexually transmitted (studies are still in progress to confirm or deny).
Along with the Borrelia bacteria, various other coinfections can be transmitted via an infected tick as well. These include, but are not limited to:
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
And many more
With proper testing and treatment, Lyme and coinfections can be manageable and remission is possible. However, at this time, there is no known cure for Lyme disease. Prevention and awareness is key to avoiding infection.
LYME DISEASE QUICK FACTS
-There are over 300,000 cases of Lyme in the United States PER YEAR!
-25% are children
-Fewer than 50% of patients recall a tick bite
-Standard testing for Lyme disease is only 20%-30% accurate
-Lyme disease is a bacterial infection and world-wide infectious disease and has been reported in all 50 states
If you have been recently diagnosed or are new to Lyme Disease, check out our 8 page overview on subjects you need to know when first diagnosed such as what Chronic Lyme Disease is, general treatment options, how to find a doctor, and what to expect.