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Tracking Lyme Disease as it Travels

W.A.N.T.E.D : Lyme Disease

Aliases:

Borrelia burgdorferi, Lyme Disease spirochete, tick-borne borreliosis

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Attacks

Lyme Disease has been known to attack multiple body systems, including the nervous system, the heart (circulatory system), muscles and joints (skeletal system), and skin (integumentary system), although it is capable of attacking any organ it pleases.


It is transmitted by deer ticks, not all of which are infected with the disease. The ticks that obtain the infection receive it from feeding on smaller animals that carry it. The disease can be spread when a carrying tick bites and stays attached to a person for a period of time typically longer than 36 hours. It can only be transferred from tick to human, not human to human, although there are extremely rare cases where a woman who contracts the disease while pregnant has given it to her fetus.

Victims

Lyme Disease can affect humans of any age, but those exposed to wooded or grassy areas are more at risk especially during ticks' active season.

Crimes

Early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, head or muscle aches or soreness, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and/or a probable (70-85% occurrence rate) Erythema migrans rash. Signs that may appear later on (days to months after bite) include severe headaches and stiffness, Facial or Bell's palsy, reoccurring/intermittent/shooting nerve and muscle pains, short-term memory loss, and in some cases heart palpitations/irregular beating have been shown to occur.

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Mortality Rate: Lyme disease, due to its easily accessed treatment, is rarely if ever fatal.


Defense and Prevention: Being properly dressed and wearing tick repellent is the most effective method of prevention, as it stops the ticks before they can transmit the pathogens. If the tick does get on to your person, be sure to remove it as quickly as possible and pay attention to see if any symptoms appear.


Treatments/Cure: Those who end up with Lyme Disease are most commonly treated in the early stages with antibiotics such asdoxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime and are almost always completely cured after. Patients with neurological or cardiac forms of the illness might need more intense drugs to combat it.

Reporting: Ainsley Wortman; March 16th, 2016; D Block;

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