Frequently asked questions
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection caused by the spirochete bacteria - Borrelia Burgdorferi. It is most often transmitted by tick bites. Lyme disease is the most prevalent tick-borne infection in the U.S. and around the world. It is an epidemic that has 350,000 cases reported yearly. If not treated early, Lyme disease can cause chronic debilitating illness that is difficult and controversial to treat.
What is a vector-borne illness?
Vectors are living organisms that can transmit infectious diseases from animals to humans. Many of these vectors are bloodsucking species, including ticks, which ingest disease-producing microorganisms during a blood meal from an infected host (human or animal) and later inject it into a new host during their subsequent blood meal.
How many bites does it take to get Lyme Disease?
Only one bite.
What is a tick?
A tick is an acarine (a small arachnid/spider) of the families Ixodidae (hard ticks) or Argasidae (soft ticks), which contain many bloodsucking species that are pests of humans, domestic birds and mammals. They probably exceed all other anthropods in the number and variety of disease agents that they transmit.
Why is Lyme called the "Great Imitator"?
Its symptoms mimic other diseases. It can affect any organ of the body, including the brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, and the heart.
Do you always get a bull's eye rash (erythema migrans)?
No! Fewer than 50% of people infected ever recall being bitten by a tick. The hallmark "bullseye rash" (or any rash) occurs in less than 50% of cases.
Who are at the highest risk for contracting Lyme disease?
Lyme disease affects people of all ages. The CDC notes that it is most common in children, boys 8 to 14 years old and older adults. Outdoor enthusiasts, park rangers and firefighters have a higher risk of contracting Lyme and other tick-borne diseases because of their higher exposure to ticks.
How many states/nations have reported cases of Lyme?
Lyme disease has been found in all 50 US states, in more than 80 other countries and on all continents, even Antarctica.
What percentage of the population does not recover after taking the CDC recommended dose of antibiotics?
20% of Lyme infected people do not recover from the CDC recommended dose of antibiotics and become Chronic Lyme sufferers.
Can you get Lyme and other tick-borne diseases only from an infected tick?
Lyme disease and co-infections can be transmitted by mosquitoes, fleas, mites, pregnancy blood transfusions, sexual intercourse and breast milk, in addition to infected ticks.
How many people a year are diagnosed with Lyme Disease in the US?
The CDC has revised its estimates from 30,000 to over 350,000 people that are diagnosed with Lyme disease in the US every year.
What is a tick-borne disease?
Tick-borne diseases are caused by infectious agents transmitted by tick bites. Tick-borne illnesses are caused by infection with a variety of pathogens.
What do ticks feed on?
Ticks feed on blood from any host.