Saturday, March 8, 2008

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a mild to serious bacterial disease is transmitted by ticks. It was first recognized in the northeastern United States (it is named for Lyme, Conn.) and is now known to occur in midwestern and western states as well as in many other countries. The tiny ticks, genus Ixodes, infest animals as white-footed mice and white-tailed deer. When a human is bitten by a thick by a tick, the minute spirochete Borrelia burgdoferi enters the bloodstreams. Within a month a painless rash may appear, often accompanied by severe headaches, fatigue, chills, and fever.

Severe inflamation of the heart
muscle or nevous system may follow in the next few months, causing heart problem, meningitis, and severe migratory pains. In some cases, neither of these stages is observed. Within two years, however, arthritic attacks may develop that can become chronic if untreated. Scientists have recently found that humans may have a genetic predisposition that increases their susceptibility to chronic arthritis. Antibiotics used in the early stages of the disease are effective treatments.
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