Lyme Disease

By: Tyler Dahm

Intro

Lyme disease has been around for about 240 years. Lyme disease is caused by borrelia burgdorferi, which is carried by deer ticks, ixodes, and adult ticks. This paper will hopefully teach you more about lyme disease's history, locations, preventions, how it's transmitted, and how it's treated.

History

In 1975, two boys were diagnosed with JRA (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) a rare condition. Soon after, 40 more people had the same disease, in the same town (Lyme, Connecticut). All were found with red to pink bull's-eye rash, so they knew it was a new disease. They first thought the disease was transmitted by germs in water, but that wasn't the case. So in 1979, Dr. Andrew Spielman saw that deer ticks carried a bacteria. He collected multiple deer ticks and sent them to Dr. Willy Burgdorfer. Then, Dr. Willy Burgdorfer injected the bacteria into rabbits. The rabbits developed the same rash the other patients had. It wasn't until 1981, when researchers at RML (Rocky Mountain Laboratories) identified the cause of the disease, deer ticks. In the 1980s, doctors just began to use antibiotics , that was accepted by medical profession. Even though a vaccine was developed in 1998 and antibiotics, Lyme disease has increased. It has increased because there are more and more forests and woods growing, which is the ticks habitat. There has been an estimated amount of 22 million Americans with the case of Lyme disease from 2005-2010. Lyme disease has spread though New England and Massachusetts in the past ten years. Ever since the outbreak in 1975, Lyme disease is increasing more and more. But, doctors and scientist are looking for more information to end this terrible disease.

How it's transmitted

Lyme disease is transmitted if a deer tick or ixodes bite you and stay attached to you for 36-48 hours. It could also be transmitted by mice carrying borrelia burgdorferi, the same as those ticks.

Symptoms

If you get bit by a tick, it doesn't mean you have Lyme disease. But if you do get bit by a tick, look for symptoms like; bulls-eye rash, arthritis, flu-like symptoms, heart problems, severe fatigue, and liver inflammation. If you have any of those, it's a possibility you have Lyme disease.

Prevention

How is Lyme disease prevented? Lyme disease can be prevented if you cover skin in grassy lands and use insect repellent. If you get a tick, remove it as soon as possible. Take the tick out with tweezers and be careful not to twist or take the body off. If you're going to be outside for a long period of time, make sure you put on light colored clothing, do not sit on ground, and make sure you wear a cap. You also should wear long sleeves and tape the bottom of your pants. You should do all of this so you don't get a tick bite and maybe even Lyme disease.

Treated or cured

If you do get Lyme disease you can treat it. You can treat it by oral antibiotics, intravenous antibiotics. If you treat it right away, you should be cured.

Organs affected

There are some organs affected by this disease, like heart, liver, and skin. Your liver will inflammation, your skin will have a bulls-eye rash, and your hearts will have problems. However, those are very rarely affected.

Similar diseases

There aren't many similar diseases for Lyme disease. However, there are two; Stari and Rocky Mountain Fever. They all are transmitted by ticks.

Location

Lyme disease is located almost everywhere in the world. But you're most likely to get the disease in North East and North central United States. There was also a lot of cases in Southwest Canada. It's most likely in these places because there are a lot of woods in those places.

Bibliography

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