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Lyme Disease Is on the Rise

👤by AP 0 comments 🕔Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Lyme disease is caused by infection with a bacterium called a spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) and is transmitted to humans by infected ticks (Ixodes scapularis and I. Pacificus). Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the U.S. Patients with early stage Lyme disease have a characteristic rash (erythema migrans) accompanied by nonspecific symptoms (for example, fever, malaise, fatigue, headache, myalgia, and arthralgia). Lyme disease can usually be treated successfully with standard antibiotics.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 30,000 Americans were diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2014, representing more than a 30% increase in the annual rate in the past decade. It is suggested that the increase in reported cases is probably a result of both a true increase in incidence within known high-risk areas as well as more complete reporting as a result of enhanced Lyme disease surveillance. They noted that surveillance capabilities and public awareness of Lyme disease have increased during this period.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/22/2015

Medical Author:

William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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