What Causes Lyme Disease?

According to the Bailliere’s Nurses Dictionary, Lyme is a disease of animals that is transmitted to humans. They refer to this transmission as a zoonosis. Common zoonosis diseases include anthrax, cat-scratch fever, and of course Lyme. Lyme disease got its origin when it broke out in Lyme, Connecticut in 1975. This disease is associated with high fever, headaches, fatigue, and skin rashes known as erythema chronicum migrans (otherwise called bull’s eye due to its appearance). If it is left untreated the victim will experience disruptions in their central nervous system causing facial paralysis, irregular heartbeats, severe chest pain, and joint pains leading to arthritis.

This disease may not be easily diagnosed as the patient may be unaware that they got a tick bite. Plus the rash and other symptoms may not appear until two-three weeks after the insect infected your system. However, blood test can easily determine the illness and it can be cured with the use of antibiotics.

Lyme is caused from ticks bite. They are the known carrier of the Lyme associated bacteria called Borrelia. There are eleven species of the Borrelia bacteria; however, only three are known to carry the disease. The Borrelia carriers of this disease are Deer Ticks and Sheep ticks. When these infected ticks bite animals such as the sheep and we consume the meat, we become infected with the disease. Rodents can also carry the disease when they get infected by these ticks. They in turn pass on the disease to humans through bites or pass faeces in our food etc. Likewise if the rodent is infected with Lyme and the ticks suck their blood and they in turn suck ours we can also become infected with the illness. However, many scientists say that for the ticks to transmit the disease effectively to humans they need to attach themselves to us for at least two days. That is why they do not see these ticks as the main source of human contamination due to the fact that as human beings we would readily detach a tick from our body the moment we feel them biting on our skin. Hence they argue that it is more animal than tick transmission of the disease that we should be concerned with.

Others may argue that some ticks are too small for human to see, hence the reason for them biting us and latching onto our body for more than thirty-six hours (doctors say that once the tick is removed in less than thirty-six hours, the lesser the changes for a severe infection) can easily been over-looked. In order to prevent tick bites, insect repellant may be used. It is a far more effective means of prevention that the use of antibiotics after the damage is already created.

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