What is Lyme Disease?



what is lyme disease

Despite the growing number of Lyme disease cases in the United States, many individuals still receive conflicting information and wonder: What is Lyme disease, how do you get it, what is the best treatment, and can it be cured?

Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), a spiral-shaped organism. The bacterium can be transmitted to a person through the bite of an infected Ixodes scapularis tick (a.k.a., the deer tick or black-legged tick).

Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria is a type of spirochete that can penetrate virtually any organ or system in the body, including the brain and central nervous system, joints, muscles, and heart. This is why Lyme disease is often considered the “Great Imitator,” as it can cause symptoms that mimic many different disorders. Patients with Lyme disease may initially be misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psychiatric disorders, among others.

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