Lyme Disease

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, there were 1,023 recorded cases of Lyme Disease in Minnesota in 2004. This number is more than double the 473 cases reported in 2003. The increase could be the result of mild winters that have allowed the deer and field mice that the deer ticks feed on to survive the winters in greater numbers.

Lyme disease is a potentially serious bacterial infection that can result in flu like symptoms and if untreated can lead to arthritis, nervous system problems and persistent fatigue. Antibiotic treatment is effective, especially if treatment is begun during the early stages.

The disease is spread when an infected deer tick attaches itself to a person. Not all deer ticks are infected with the bacteria, so not all deer ticks will transmit the disease. In order for the infection to be transferred from an infected deer tick to a person, the tick needs to be attached for at least 24 hours.

To protect yourself from contracting Lyme disease you should avoid tick habitats, if possible. If avoiding tick habitats is not possible, use a tick repellent containing DEET and wear light-colored clothes so you can more easily spot a deer tick on you. Check for ticks after being in their habitats and if you find a tick on you, remove it as soon as possible.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Dear Science Museum,
My oldest sister had Lyme disease once. I wasn't born yet, but I have heard about it.

posted on Wed, 06/22/2005 - 1:15pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

The FDA issued a warning on Friday about a bogus "treatment" for Lyme disease. It's an injectable product called bismacine, or chromacine, that has caused one death and multiple injuries.

Bismacine is not a pharmaceutical. It's mixed by druggists and contains large amounts of bismuth, the heavy metal in some oral medications to treat Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria responsible for some stomach ulcers. But bismuth isn't approved for injection, and bismuth poisoning can cause cardovascular and kidney failure.

posted on Mon, 07/24/2006 - 9:11am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Do you have lyme disease?

Please help us help you by taking a 20 to 30 minute survey - click the "Online Survey" link in the top navigation bar- www.sickfromatick.com

posted on Tue, 09/04/2007 - 11:12am
Paris's picture
Paris says:

lyme disease sounds really horrible. I hope i dont get it! It's really bad that they have a pretend medecine. Does anyone know what happens when you get lyme disease???

posted on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 12:28pm

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