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Diseases » Lyme disease » Summary

What is Lyme disease?

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bite of a tick that carries the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium. If not ...more »

  • Lyme disease: Lyme disease is an emerging infectious disease caused by at least three species of bacteria belonging to the genus Borrelia.
  • Lyme disease: A specific species of bacteria, part of the BORRELIA BURGDORFERI GROUP, whose common name is Lyme disease spirochete.
    Source - Diseases Database
  • Lyme disease: an acute inflammatory disease characterized by a rash with joint swelling and fever; caused by bacteria carried by the bite of a deer tick.
    Source - WordNet 2.1

Lyme disease is listed as a "rare disease" by the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This means that Lyme disease, or a subtype of Lyme disease, affects less than 200,000 people in the US population.
Source - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Lyme disease: Introduction

Types of Lyme disease:

Types of Lyme disease:

  • Lyme-like diseases - conditions similar to Lyme disease in Australia or other non-USA areas
  • more types...»

Broader types of Lyme disease:

How many people get Lyme disease?

Incidence (annual) of Lyme disease: estimated 100,000 cases annually (NIAID/USA)
Incidence Rate of Lyme disease: approx 1 in 2,719 or 0.04% or 100,000 people in USA [about data]
Prevalance of Lyme disease: In 1999, 16,273 cases of Lyme disease were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (Source: excerpt from CDC Lyme Disease Home Page: DVBID)
Incidence of Lyme disease: Approximately 12,500 new cases were diagnosed in 1997. (Source: excerpt from Stories of Discovery Lyme Disease Vaccine Preventing an Emerging Disease: NIAID)

Who gets Lyme disease?

Geography Profile for Lyme disease: The number of reported cases of Lyme disease, as well as the number of geographic areas in which it is found, has been increasing. Lyme disease has been reported in nearly all states in this country, although most cases are concentrated in the coastal northeast, mid-Atlantic states, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and northern California. Lyme disease is endemic in large areas of Asia and Europe. (Source: excerpt from Lyme Disease -- The Facts, The Challenge: NIAID)

How serious is Lyme disease?

Prognosis of Lyme disease: For early cases, prompt treatment is usually curative. However, the severity and treatment of Lyme disease may be complicated due to late diagnosis, failure of antibiotic treatment, and simultaneous infection with other tick-borne diseases (co-infections) including ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and bartonella, and immune suppression in the patient.
Complications of Lyme disease: see complications of Lyme disease
Prognosis of Lyme disease: Most individuals with Lyme disease respond well to antibiotics and have full recovery. In a few patients symptoms of persisting infection may continue or recur, requiring additional antibiotic treatment. Varying degrees of permanent joint or nervous system damage may develop in patients with late chronic Lyme disease. In rare cases, death may occur. (Source: excerpt from NINDS Neurological Sequelae Of Lyme Disease Information Page: NINDS)

What causes Lyme disease?

Causes of Lyme disease: see causes of Lyme disease
Cause of Lyme disease: Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria usually spread by deer ticks.
Risk factors for Lyme disease: see risk factors for Lyme disease

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?

Symptoms of Lyme disease: see symptoms of Lyme disease

Complications of Lyme disease: see complications of Lyme disease

Incubation period for Lyme disease: usually 7-10 days after tick bite; up to 4 weeks after tick bite.

Incubation period for Lyme disease: The incubation period from infection to onset of erythema migrans is typically 7 to 14 days but may be as short as 3 days and as long as 30 days. (Source: excerpt from Lyme Diagnosis: DVBID)

Onset of Lyme disease: 3 days to a month.

Seasonality of Lyme disease: Lyme disease is most common during the late spring and summer months in the U.S. (May through August) when nymphal ticks are most active and human populations are frequently outdoors and most exposed. (Source: excerpt from Questions and Answers About Lyme Disease: DVBID)

Can anyone else get Lyme disease?

More information: see contagiousness of Lyme disease
Inheritance: see inheritance of Lyme disease

Lyme disease: Testing

Diagnostic testing: see tests for Lyme disease.

Misdiagnosis: see misdiagnosis and Lyme disease.

How is it treated?

Treatments for Lyme disease: see treatments for Lyme disease
Alternative treatments for Lyme disease: see alternative treatments for Lyme disease
Prevention of Lyme disease: see prevention of Lyme disease
Research for Lyme disease: see research for Lyme disease

Society issues for Lyme disease

Costs of Lyme disease: estimated $60 million a year (NIAID)
Costs of Lyme disease: Treatment of early-stage Lyme disease alone costs an estimated $60 million a year in the United States. (Source: excerpt from Stories of Discovery Lyme Disease Vaccine Preventing an Emerging Disease: NIAID)

Name and Aliases of Lyme disease

Main name of condition: Lyme disease

Class of Condition for Lyme disease: bacterial, autoimmune possibly, parasite insect

Other names or spellings for Lyme disease:


Steere's disease, Borrelia burgdorferi Source - Diseases Database

Lyme disease, Lyme arthritis
Source - WordNet 2.1

Borreliosis, Borrelia Infections, Lyme Borreliosis
Source - Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Lyme disease: Related Conditions

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Lyme disease:


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