Lyme Disease

Presentation by Matt Karwal

How you get Lyme disease?

You get bitten by a black-legged tick, commonly known as the deer tick. This bite infects you with with a bacteria called Borrelia burgdoferi.
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How is Lyme disease treated?

It is treated with drugs called antibiotics which kill the bacteria, the most common drug used to treat Lyme disease is called doxycycline.
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Where is Lyme disease?

In 2012, 13 states accounted for 95% of all reported cases. These states include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
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What are the Symptoms of Lyme disease?

During the first days of the infection, patients have fatigue, neck stiffness, head ache, fever, and muscle pain. Also, patients have a characteristic skin lesion called erythema migrans. Later, patients have arthritis involving one or a few large joints, especially the knee.
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How many cases of Lyme Disease were reported in 2013?

There were over 35,000 cases reported to the CDC in 2013.

What is infected by Lyme Disease?

The Spirochete "the germ" can infect the nervous system, the heart, the eyes, the skin, and the joints.
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How is Lyme Disease prevented?

Avoid areas where the black-legged tick lives (wooded areas in north east America). If going to these areas, wear long sleeves and long pants, wear insect repellent and pull any ticks off immediately.
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How many people die each year from Lyme Disease?

You cannot die from Lyme disease.

Lyme statistics

It usually occurs in summer months. More males than females get Lyme disease.
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How long has Lyme disease been around?

It has been around at least since 1972 when a few kids in Lyme, Connecticut got the disease. It was a mystery at that time.

How did the disease get its name?

The disease got its name from the first cases discovered in Lyme, Old Lyme, and East Haddam, Connecticut.
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How did the germ gets its name?

The germ was named after the person who discovered it, Willy Burgdorfer, who recently died.
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If you get it one time, can you get it again?

Yes, your body does not become immune to the the spirochete. You can get it again if you get bit by an infected tick.

Will Lyme disease go away if not treated?

Patients with Lyme disease generally need treatment. However, some patients were infected and never got sick with Lyme disease.

What does the rash look like?

It looks like a bulls eye.

It is red.

It does not itch.

It can be big or small.

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Is this a growing problem in the USA?

Yes, this is growing problem in the USA. People don't take caution.


Not all ticks carry Lyme disease.
Only female ticks need a blood meal.
The nymph stage transmits Lyme disease. Because of its small size, it stays on longer.
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Did people confuse it with other diseases?

Yes, people confused it with rocky mountain fever and juvenile arthritis when first discovered.


Burgdorfer, Willy. "Lyme Disease-A Tick-Borne Spirochetosis?" Science 216 (1982): 1317. Web.

Donnelly, Karen J. Everything You Need to Know about Lyme Disease. New York: Rosen Pub. Group, 2000. Print.

Doxcycyline. Digital image. Http:// Web. 16 Dec. 2014.

"Lyme Disease." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 06 Dec. 2013. Web. 04 Dec. 2014. <>.

"Lyme Disease." Mayo Clinic. 3 Oct. 2012. Web. 02 Dec. 2014. <>.

Steere, Allen C. "Lyme Arthritis." Arthritis and Rheumatism, Vol. 20, No. 1 (January-February 1977)

"Williams College." Lyme Disease. 23 Apr. 2013. Web. 03 Dec. 2014. <>.