What Is Lyme Disease?Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 13:31
Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that can cause symptoms throughout the body. "Tick-borne" means an illness that is transmitted from the bite of a tick.
Lyme disease was officially identified in 1975. Today it is the most common tick-borne disease in the United States. It has been reported in every U.S. state except Montana and is especially prevalent in:
- Southern New England
- New York
- The Mid-Atlantic States
- The coastal and wooded areas of California and Oregon
Lyme disease causes flu-like symptoms, including fever, muscle pain, arthritis-like joint pain, fatigue, and a skin rash. In rare cases, it can lead to temporary paralysis of the muscles in the face, or serious heart or nervous system problems.
Early treatment with antibiotics is important to avoid long-term problems. Although symptoms sometimes last for months, early treatment increases the likelihood that they will clear up completely.
Need To Know:
People treated in the early stages usually recover quickly and 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.
Nice To Know:
In Europe, medical literature from the early 1900s describes a skin rash similar to Lyme disease. Some experts believe Lyme disease may have spread from Europe to the U.S. at that time, but it was recognized only recently as a distinct illness.
Facts About Lyme Disease