What Is Lyme Disease?

In Europe, Lyme disease is caused by infection with one or more of the European pathogenic spirochete genospecies B. burgdorferi sensu lato, mainly carried by the tick Ixodes ricinus. Not all deer ticks are infected with Borrelia burgdorferi. People can become infected if they are bitten by a black-legged tick, the vector of Borrelia burgdorferi; these mites usually must remain attached to a person for at least 36 hours in order to transmit the bacteria. Adult ticks also carry the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi but are easier to see and can be removed before being passed on to others.

To transmit the infection, the tick must be on the skin for at least 36 hours. Bacteria from a tick bite can enter the bloodstream if the tick remains attached to the skin for 36 to 48 hours or more.

If the removal of attached ticks is done within 36 hours, the risk of tick infection is minimal. The advanced stage can develop months or even years after the bite, mostly in those who have not received early treatment. The most severe and potentially debilitating symptoms of progressive LD may appear weeks, months or, in some cases, years after the tick bite.

It is advisable to pay attention when symptoms appear; a red rash (especially around the site of a tick bite), flu-like symptoms, or joint pain in the first month after a deer tick bite may signal the onset of Lyme disease (LD). It is the bite of an infected black-legged tick or deer tick that makes many people with Lyme disease sick.

According to the CDC, infected black-footed ticks transmit Lyme disease in the northeast, mid-Atlantic, and northern central United States. There are 10-40 cases of Lyme disease among Washington residents each year, but most of these people contract Lyme disease from tick bites, which are found in the northeastern and midwestern states above, where Lyme disease is most common. Sick ticks are common in the Northeast and upper Midwest of the United States. The chance of being bitten by a tick, and therefore being more likely to get Lyme disease, is higher in people who spend time outdoors (especially in wooded, bushy, or grassy areas) in geographically endemic areas, especially from May to November.

While most tick bites are harmless, some types can cause life-threatening illnesses. The tick can also spread other diseases, including babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and the Powassan virus, other diseases that are on the rise in the United States. Ticks can also transmit other diseases such as babesiosis and Colorado tick fever.

Ticks become infected after feeding on infected deer, birds or mice. Deer ticks mainly acquire bacteria by feeding on small mammals infected with bacteria, especially white-footed mice. The Borrelia burgdorferi microbe enters the skin when bitten by an infected tick, and the disease spreads to humans when the spirochete travels from the gut to the salivary glands and then to humans at the site of the bite.

Transmission of Lyme disease Ticks infected with the bacterium B. burgdorferi can attach themselves to any part of the body. Lyme disease is a disease caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which can be transmitted by the bite of an infected black-legged tick. Lyme disease (LD) is an infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a type of bacterium called a spirochete (pronounced spy-ro-kit) carried by deer ticks. Borrelia burgdorferi is transmitted to humans through the bite of the nymphal deer tick Ixodes scapularis (or Ixodes pacificus on the west coast).

The Lyme disease (LD) spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi infects other tick species, but is known to be transmitted to humans and other animals only by the deer tick and the related western black-legged tick. Studies have shown that an infected tick typically does not begin transmitting Borrelia burgdorferi until it has attached to a host for about 36-48 hours; therefore, the best line of defense against Lyme disease (LD) is to check yourself at least once a day, And remove all ticks before they become swollen with blood. About 80% of Lyme disease infections are the first sign of erythema migrans (EM) at the site of the tick bite, usually near skin folds such as the armpits, groin, or behind the knees, on the trunk, under belt clothing, or hair, ears or a child around the neck.

In about 4-10% of untreated cases in the United States and about 0.3-4% of untreated cases in Europe, usually between June and December, about one month after the tick bite (4 days to 7 months), the Lyme disease can be caused by a heart complication called Lyme carditis.

Other mites (such as Ornithomorpha americana) and the insects themselves may carry the pathogen, but Ixodes tick bites are thought to be responsible for the vast majority of cases. Although adults are twice as likely to infect B burgdorferi as nymphs, nymphs transmit 90% of disease to humans due to their large numbers; increased human activity outdoors in summer (peak nymph feeding); nymphs are smaller and therefore less susceptible to disease transmission It is unlikely to be detected and removed before it happens. Immature ticks are very small and hard to see, which increases the chance of undetected tick contact.

In tick-infested areas, common sense precautions are important. Get rid of mites in your garden by clearing wooded areas, minimizing undergrowth, and placing stacks of firewood in very sunny locations. Ticks prefer to live in wooded areas, low growing meadows and backyards.

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