Lyme disease is one of the most common illnesses humans contract from tick bites. While only about thirty thousand cases are officially diagnosed each year, it's estimated 300,000 Americans actually contract Lyme disease, making it a major cause for concern in areas where tick populations are high. If left untreated, it can lead to painful and debilitating symptoms like body rashes, arthritis, heart problems, and inflammation of the brain or spinal cord. Thankfully, with proper education, Lyme disease is an easily preventable condition. Here is a look at the most common causes and risk factors responsible for the transmission of this dangerous illness.
Borrelia Burgdorferi And Borrelia Mayonii
Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii are the two types of bacteria responsible for Lyme disease in the United States. These unique, corkscrew-shaped creatures move from the salivary glands of an infected tick into the bloodstream of a human at the site of a tick bite. From there, the bacteria can move to almost any point of the body, which is why symptoms of Lyme disease can be so wide-ranging and affect many different bodily systems. For many years, researchers believed Borrelia burgdorferi was the sole bacterium responsible for the spread of Lyme disease. However, in 2013, a similar, yet genetically distinct, species (Borrelia mayonii) was discovered in the bloodstream of several patients who were suspected to be suffering from the condition.