The Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by black-legged ticks that are infected with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria.. Medical experts believe that the narrow definition of the disease has led to poor treatment and misdiagnosis.
Stages of Lyme disease
There are three stages of bacterial disease, and it is important to detect it in the first stage, or other complications may arise as symptoms of disease progression. In this first stage, a skin lesion is usually identified, causing headaches, musculoskeletal pain, cough, sore throat, conjunctivitis and minor neurological impairment. At this point, the Lyme disease can be treated with penicillin or other antibiotics in the short term.
The second stage may reveal some alarming symptoms, such as meningitis, encephalitis and cranial neuritis. These neurological abnormalities may result in facial paralysis and some patients may experience cardiac problems. The second stage takes place between one and several months after the onset of infection.
The third stage is particularly alarming, as symptoms may take several months or even years to become noticeable. At this point, chronic Lyne disease can lead to death, whether it is caused by heart problems, worsening cognitive illnesses, or suicide due to depression.
New study: Lyme disease can be sexually transmitted
As if these aspects were not worrying enough, A new study has found that the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium that causes the Lyme disease can be sexually transmitted. The researchers have also discovered that the bacteria need manganese to grow and survive, which could be an important detail for the researchers going forward.
These two important discoveries may help prevent the spread of Lyme disease and may also possibly kill the bacteria in its early stages before more serious complications begin to develop. Some patients are given antibiotics in the late stages of Lyme disease, a practice that the Infectious Diseases Society of America says is harmful because antibiotics given over a prolonged period of time do not provide the best results and can also be harmful to the body. The disease can become immune to the drugs and long-term use can lead to fatal complications.
See the National Geographic article on the history and recent discoveries of Lyme disease.