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Over 14% of world has Lyme disease

  • Published
    14th Jun, 2022
Context

According to a new study, more than 14 percent of the world's population has had Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne illness.

About

Key findings of the study:

  • Central Europe had the highest rate of infection with 20 percent.
  • After Central Europe, the regions with the highest antibody rates were Eastern Asia with 15.9 percent, Western Europe with 13.5 percent and Eastern Europe with 10.4 percent.
  • The Caribbean meanwhile had the lowest rate, with just two percent.
  • Men over the age of 50 living in rural areas are most at risk.

Lyme disease:

  • Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease.
  • Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and rarely, Borrelia mayonii.
  • It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks.
  • Since it was first identified in 1975, Lyme disease has become the most common tick-borne zoonotic disease

Symptoms:

  • Rash: From three to 30 days after an infected tick bite, an expanding red area might appear that sometimes clears in the center, forming a bull's-eye pattern.
  • Other Symptoms include fever, headache, rash and weakness can appear days to weeks after a tick bite.

Treatment: Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics, but without intervention, the pathogen can cause long-lasting damage and inflammation throughout the body.

Later signs and symptoms

If untreated, new signs and symptoms of Lyme infection might appear in the following weeks to months. These include:

  • Erythema migrans: The rash may appear on other areas of your body.
  • Joint pain: Bouts of severe joint pain and swelling are especially likely to affect your knees, but the pain can shift from one joint to another.
  • Neurological problems:Weeks, months or even years after infection, you might develop inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain (meningitis), temporary paralysis of one side of your face (Bell's palsy), numbness or weakness in your limbs, and impaired muscle movement
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