An infectious disease caused by three different species of spiral-shaped bacteria, Lyme disease is commonly transmitted by ticks. Characteristic of most cases of Lyme disease, individuals living near wooded areas are subject to higher incidences of the disease, especially during the summer months – which correlates with the rise in tick population. Once bitten, most of the infected develop a rash, erythema migrans, which strikes at the site of the attack – followed by flu-like symptoms, stiff joints, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches, and chronic fatigue. However, the classic rash only shows up in 70% of Lyme disease cases, so further testing is essential.
Deer, mice, raccoons, horses, foxes, weasels, and squirrels are all possible carriers of ticks, making the disease transparent and difficult to trace. Although concentrated in the coastal northeast, Lyme disease can strike anywhere in the world, and cases have been documented as far away as Asia, Europe, and South America. If left untreated, Lyme disease may cause arthritis, Bell’s palsy, heart problems, and constant inflammation.
Painless, tiny, and surprisingly easy to miss, Lyme disease is difficult to isolate. But with the right testing, proper medication, immediate action, and dietary improvements – individuals can expect a swift, stress-free recovery.