What is Lyme Disease? Everything You Need to Know About the Tick-Borne Infection That Yolanda Hadid Is Battling

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In this week’s issue of PEOPLE, former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Hadid opens up about her battle with late-stage Lyme disease, and how the illness drove her to contemplate suicide. But what is the mysterious illness?

Lyme disease is a potentially debilitating infection caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, and is transmitted through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick.

“For some people, Lyme is easily treated but for others this disease is devastating,” says Linda Giampa, executive director of the Bay Area Lyme Foundation. The CDC has also documented cases in which Lyme has been fatal. (See link for article)

For more on Hadid’s struggle with Lyme, check out her new memoir – Believe Me: My Battle with the Invisibility of Lyme Disease – which comes out Sept. 12.

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