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Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease: What Is The Outlook?

Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 11:06

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

The long-term prognosis for Lyme disease caught early is excellent. Although symptoms sometimes last for months, early treatment increases the likelihood that they will clear up completely. A recent study has shown that the general health of people who have had Lyme disease between 1 and 11 years before is similar to that of the general population.

If Lyme disease is ignored or inadequately treated, nerve damage, heart problems, and arthritis can become difficult to treat. Only in rare instances do the symptoms of Lyme disease become chronic. Fatalities are extremely rare.

Keep in mind that is it possible to become re-infected with Lyme disease at a later date. The body's natural immune response to the disease appears to diminish gradually in the years after infection.

Nice To Know:

Controlling Deer Ticks

Researchers are trying to develop an effective strategy for ridding areas of deer ticks.

  • Spraying pesticide in wooded areas in the spring and fall has been shown to substantially reduce, for more than a year, the number of adult deer ticks living there. Large-scale spraying, however, may be too expensive and may raise environmental or health concerns.
  • Researchers have tried introducing tiny stingerless wasps, which feed on immature ticks, into tick-infested areas. The effectiveness of this strategy is under investigation.
  • Feeding stations for deer have been built in some areas, so that a tick-killing chemical can be applied to the animals. One such program in Texas eliminated 98% of the adult ticks in the study area within two years.

Lyme Disease