Lyme disease is 10 times more common than figures suggest
Monday, September 02, 2013
Lyme disease—a debilitating condition caused by a tick bite—is far more common than the official figures suggest. In fact, just 10 per cent of people who develop the disease each year are ever diagnosed.
Around 30,000 new cases are reported each year across the US, but the true number of new infections is around 300,000, says America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Typical symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, headache, fatigue and the skin rash, erythema migrans. If it isn’t treated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart and nervous system.
It’s reckoned that up to a third of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) diagnoses are, in fact, Lyme disease.
The best orthodox treatment is high-dose antibiotics.
The disease is caused by a bite by black-legged ticks that are often found in wooded areas, or where deer and rodents live. In the US, the ticks are most active in 13 states in the north-east and upper mid-west.
(Source: Proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and Other Tick-Borne Diseases, August 19, 2013, Boston, Mass).