Lyme disease: Lyme disease is a bacterial illness caused by a bacterium called a "spirochete." Lyme disease is spread by ticks when they bite the skin. Lyme disease can cause abnormalities in the skin, joints, heart and nervous system.
Interestingly, the disease only became apparent in 1975 when mothers of a group of children who lived near each other in Lyme, Connecticut made researchers aware that their children all were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. This unusual grouping of illness that appeared "rheumatoid" eventually led researchers to the identification of the bacterial cause of Lyme disease in 1982. The number of cases of the disease in an area depends on the amount of ticks in an area and how often the ticks are infected with the bacteria. In certain areas of New York, where Lyme disease is common, over half of the ticks are infected. Lyme disease has been reported most often in the Northeastern United States, but has been reported in all 50 states as well as China, Europe, Japan, Australia and the parts of the former Soviet Union.
Information on Lyme Disease. Provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
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