Lyme disease is an illness that has been popping up with greater frequency in the news. There is some disagreement and confusion as to how widespread this disease is, and how serious the condition can become.
What is Lyme disease? It is an infection that is spread by ticks that carry the Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete (spiral-shaped bacteria). Chipmunks, shrews, mice and a wide variety of birds can all be carriers of B. burgdorferi.
According to the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) there are five subspecies of B. burgdorferi, with over 100 strains appearing in the United States. To make identification of Lyme disease even more difficult, many organs can be affected by the spirochetes. Consequently Lyme disease symptoms come in a variety of forms.
Lyme disease symptoms in humans may be mistaken for a number of other diseases, including lupus, dementia, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromalgia and Parkinson's ...