Lyme Disease

Inflammatory and Immune System

Lyme disease received its name from the town in Connecticut where many cases were found in 1977. It is a bacterial infection transmitted by ticks that are infected with Borrelia burgdorferi (or rarely Borrelia mayonii) who then bite a human and spread the bacteria. This infection is the most common vector-borne (bitten by a mosquito, tick, or flea) disease in the United States and is usually carried by deer who are infested with ticks. It is most often found in heavily wooded areas including the Northeast, North Central, and the Pacific Coast. A small number of cases are found in other areas due to migrating animals and people. Infestations are most prevalent in the spring and summer months and less common in fall and winter. The disease affects many of the body systems and tissues with a wide variety of symptoms. Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed as other illnesses due to the wide range of symptoms it causes. Testing is not always positive, and the disease can be mistaken for multiple sclerosis, seizures, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, hypochondria, and/or arthritis.

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