Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Bat tick found for the first time in New Jersey

A tick species associated with bats has been reported for the first time in New Jersey and could pose health risks to people, pets and livestock, according to a Rutgers-led study in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Early detection of COVID-19: How your smartwatch could help

News of the first U.S. coronavirus case hit the American public on Tuesday, Jan. 21. For Jessilyn Dunn, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Duke ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Tips to keep ticks under control this summer

Summertime brings an abundance of good things—sunshine, warm weather, backyard cookouts and fire pits—but, like it or not, summertime also brings out some pesky creatures that could put a damper on your plans and health.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Internet searches provide real-time estimate of Lyme disease risk

Lyme disease season is well underway. How much of a risk do we face for this tick-borne illness? A new method dubbed Lymelight, developed by researchers at Boston Children's Hospital and Google, can accurately estimate Lyme ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

What you need to know about Lyme disease

Summer means ample healthy outdoor activities, but the tiny deer tick may have other plans for us. This particular arachnid carries a bacterium that causes Lyme disease which, if left untreated, can lead to severe health ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Taking care of a tick bite

Most tick bites are painless and cause only minor signs and symptoms, such as redness, swelling or a sore on the skin. But some ticks transmit bacteria that cause illnesses, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

When mosquito and tick season meets COVID-19

With COVID-19 restrictions easing, people are spending more time at socially distanced outdoor gatherings, whether picnics in parks with friends or backyard movie nights with neighbors. But as we escape the confines of COVID-19 ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

National tick surveillance survey identifies gaps to be filled

New Cornell-led research shows that inadequate funding is the main barrier to better surveillance and control of ticks, including the blacklegged tick, which spreads Lyme disease, the No. 1 vector-borne illness in the country.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Hoping to avoid ticks this summer? There's an app for that

Summer is back and so are ticks—and the potential to get Lyme disease. With more people eager to be out in the woods after months at home, a Michigan State University researcher, who helped develop The Tick App, warns of ...

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Lyme disease

Lyme disease, or borreliosis, is an emerging infectious disease caused by at least three species of bacteria belonging to the genus Borrelia. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto is the main cause of Lyme disease in the United States, whereas Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii cause most European cases. The disease is named for the village of Lyme, Connecticut, where a number of cases were identified in 1975. Although Allen Steere realized in 1978 that Lyme disease was a tick-borne disease, the cause of the disease remained a mystery until 1982, when B. burgdorferi was identified by Willy Burgdorfer.

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere. Borrelia is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected ticks belonging to a few species of the genus Ixodes (the so-called "hard ticks"). Early symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue, depression, and a characteristic circular skin rash called erythema migrans. Left untreated, later symptoms may involve the joints, heart, and central nervous system. In most cases, the infection and its symptoms are eliminated by antibiotics, especially if the illness is treated early. Late, delayed, or inadequate treatment can lead to the more serious symptoms, which can be disabling and difficult to treat. Occasionally, symptoms such as arthritis persist after the infection has been eliminated by antibiotics, prompting suggestions that Borrelia causes autoimmunity.

Some groups have argued that "chronic" Lyme disease is responsible for a range of medically unexplained symptoms beyond the recognized symptoms of late Lyme disease, and that additional, long-term antibiotic treatments are needed. Of four randomized controlled trials of long-term ceftriaxone and doxycycline treatment in patients with ongoing symptoms, two found no benefit, and two found inconsistent benefits with significant side effects and risks from the antibiotic treatment. Most expert groups, including the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Academy of Neurology, have found that existing scientific evidence does not support a role for Borrelia nor ongoing antibiotic treatment in such cases. However, the area is controversial, with a few doctors, patient advocacy groups and politicians continuing to argue that long-term treatment is beneficial, this dispute has led to legal action over treatment guidelines.

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