Tick-borne illnesses are caused by infection with a variety of disease-causing pathogens, including rickettsia and other types of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Because ticks can harbor more than one disease-causing agent, persons can be infected with more than one pathogen at the same time.
While there are several different ticks that carry disease, the one many people are familiar with is Ixodes scapularis, more commonly known as the deer or bear tick in North America. This is the one that causes Lyme disease.
Lyme disease has become the most common tick-borne disease in the US. It was named in 1975 after a number of children presented with symptoms of arthritis in the area of Lyme, Connecticut. It is a bacterial infection that may be associated with potentially serious rheumatological, neurological and cardiological manifestations. Lyme disease primarily affects the skin, heart, joints, and nervous system. There are places in North America where 60% of the ticks are carrying Borellia burgdorferi bacteria, which causes Lyme disease.
Lyme Disease is treated primarily with antibiotics. Surgery may become necessary in rare cases of severe and persistent arthritis of the knee or other joints. A pacemaker may be required temporarily in the event of some heart rhythm abnormalities.
The Medifocus Guide on Lyme Disease provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of Lyme Disease?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing Lyme Disease?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of Lyme Disease?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of Lyme Disease?
What treatment options are available for the management of Lyme Disease?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in Lyme Disease?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for Lyme Disease?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about Lyme Disease?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Keeping Lyme disease at bay. An integrated approach to prevention. American Journal of Nursing. 2000
Lyme disease. Current Opinion in Rheumatology. 1999
Management of Lyme arthritis. Comprehensive Therapy. 1999
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