First identified in a group of children in Lyme, Connecticut, Lyme disease has now been found in nearly all states and 18 other countries. Most cases -- more than 96% -- are reported in these 14 states:
Because the symptoms are random and vague (aside from a bull's-eyerash), Lyme disease can be hard to diagnose. For this reason, people living in high-risk areas should be knowledgeable about Lyme disease.
With treatment and time, the symptoms of Lyme disease, which is caused by a tick bite, usually get better. If you are diagnosed with Lyme disease, you’re usually given antibiotics for 2-4 weeks. When symptoms linger well beyond the typical treatment time, you may have what's called "post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome" (PTLDS). It’s also called "chronic Lyme disease." About 1 in 10 people who get Lyme disease have lingering symptoms.
A wide range of effects from PTLDS can go on for months. Some...
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria transmitted through the bite of the tiny black-legged, or deer, tick found in the Eastern and Central U.S., and the western black-legged tick in the Pacific West. The riskiest months for Lyme disease are May through September, when young ticks are likely to be biting.
In humans, the bacteria may cause flu-like symptoms. If left untreated, it may attack many tissues -- including the heart and nervous system -- and trigger an immune response that can lead to Lyme arthritis.