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Lyme Disease: Who, What, Where, & How

1225 words - 5 pages

Lyme Disease is the most commonly reported vector borne illness in the United States. In a fifteen year span the annual count of lyme disease increased by 101%, in which 93% of all reported cases came from 10 states in the Northeast and Midwest (Bacon, Kugeler & Mead, 2008). Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans when bitten by infected ticks (Center for Disease Control a, 2013). In the early 1900s doctors in Europe discovered a disease pattern that created redness and rashes that were associated with tick bites. In the 1970s children in the United States, specifically in the region of Lyme, Connecticut were developing these rashes and ...view middle of the document...

5). The highest numbers of cases reported are in children aged five to 14 years and adults aged 50 to 70 (Bratton et al., 2008). Children have a greater chance of getting bitten by an infected tick. Being outside and running through brush and wooded areas increase the risk (Bratton et al., 2008). Children and young adolescents are more common to get Lyme disease because they spend more of their time outside, while the older population spends more time inside and in urban settings (Barbour pg. 39-40). The annual Lyme disease rate for children 5-9 years was 8.6 cases per 100,000 (Bacon et al., 2008). The Lyme Disease Association found that 37 % of reported cases were children, or 1,590,449 children affected between 1990-2011 (PR Newswire, 2013). Lyme is a debilitating disease, especially to children who have their entire lives ahead of them and without treatment the disease can severely inhibit their adult lives.
Early diagnosis is one of the most important ways to keep Lyme disease from affecting ease of life the older an affected person gets. Lyme disease present in most cases is represented by a bull’s eye shaped rash called erythema migrans. This first stage of erythema migrans is called early localized (Bratton et al., 2008). Sometimes the rash is missing which can cause late diagnosis, but laboratory tests can be conducted to diagnosis Lyme disease (Epps, 2003). After the first stage of Lyme disease, early dissemination infection is the second phase. This phase happens usually a few weeks after the first sign of infection. Multiple bull’s eye rashes are recognized in the second phase. Along with the rashes muscle pain usually without swelling, some facial nerve issues and rarely cardiac problems can also be symptoms. The late dissemination infection usually occurs in people who are untreated several months after being bitten by an infected tick. People develop pain and swelling in joints, typically knees and hips, and when left untreated there is a high risk of developing chronic arthritis (Bratton et al., 2008).
Antibacterials used in vitro are the usual course of action when treating Lyme disease. Penicillin and Amoxicillin are common in treating Lyme especially in young people. Other antibiotics include “several third-generation cephalosporins, macrolides, and tetracyclines, particularly doxycycline. In the early localized phase oral therapy is the usual strategy.” In all three stages of the disease doxycycline and amoxicillin are the most commonly used antibacterials (Epps, 2003 paragraph 1).
Teaching people, especially young children, the effects of Lyme disease and how to prevent themselves from getting a tick bite is important. Avoiding tick-infected areas is important (Epps, 2003), especially when living in the...

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